Five Tips for GRI and SASB Reporters

Insights from the joint guidance on using both sets of standards
Jun 30, 2021 8:30 AM ET

Many companies use both GRI and SASB Standards to generate information that meets the needs of all constituencies and markets. Earlier this year, we published a joint publication - A Practical Guide to Sustainability Reporting Using GRI and SASB Standards – which explores the experiences of companies that have chosen to use the two sets of standards together to communicate effectively with their intended audiences.

The paper—which includes survey results and interviews with UK-based Diageo, City Developments Limited (CDL) of Singapore, US-headquartered General Motors (GM) and Canada’s Suncor Energy—shows how GRI and SASB Standards are complementary and can be used together to meet the needs of a broad range of stakeholders.

This handy resource looks at the similarities and distinctions between the standards – covering materiality, the type and scope of disclosures, audiences and the standard setting process. A key finding of the research is that the GRI and SASB Standards can support companies to provide a holistic picture of their performance, bringing sustainability and financial information closer together.

Here are five tips garnered from this research.

  1. Gather your resources.

Engage your network of reporting professionals, review current reporting best practices, check the available resources from GRI and SASB, and/or engage internal and external subject matter experts to help get you started.

  1. Make a business case.

Clearly articulate the value proposition for reporting to a diverse range of stakeholders and utilize the GRI and SASB standards to do so effectively and efficiently. This can help senior leaders to understand the multiple benefits that reporting can bring to the company.

  1. Know your stakeholders.

Understand who your internal and external stakeholders are and get to know their requirements. Based on these requirements, develop your plan to collect and externally report relevant data.

  1. Start from scratch if needed.

When implementing your reporting strategy, design for continuous improvement with a focus on your most material impacts. Remember that there is support and guidance available – and GRI and SASB are a great place to start the reporting journey.

  1. Just start.

Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress. It’s important to get started with what you currently have, and then build up your reporting experience – with the aim of driving improvements over time.

For more guidance on using the GRI Standards and SASB Standards together, read our joint publication.