First Global Sustainability Reporting Standards to Enhance Corporate Transparency

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Effectively communicating an organization’s ESG impacts is vital in today’s business world. According to research published in MIT Sloan Management Review, three in four senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s good sustainability performance is materially important when making investment decisions.

Looking into the need to create a common global language for disclosing non-financial information, GRI has now launched the world’s first global standards for sustainability reporting. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards will enable companies to be more transparent about their impacts on the economy, the environment and society. They will also help organizations make better decisions and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new GRI Standards are a replacement for the GRI G4 Guidelines, which will be phased out by July 1, 2018. The new Standards feature an improved format and new modular structure. GRI Interim Chief Executive Eric Hespenheide said that the Standards make it much easier for companies to report non-financial information, using a well-understood shared language.

Sustainability reporting, using the GRI Standards, enables a company to disclose its economic, environmental and social impacts, thus providing insights into its contributions – positive or negative – toward sustainable development.

Many of the world’s largest companies use the GRI Standards to report on sustainability. With the new global Standards, many more organizations – including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) – will be able to provide investors, consumers, employees and other stakeholders with the performance information they need. Sustainability reporting by SMEs across the world must increase in order to comprehensively address the challenges of climate change and the implementation of SDGs.

The new global GRI Standards provide flexibility in reporting options. The primary purpose of the Standards is the production of a standalone sustainability report that covers an organization’s most important sustainability impacts. Additionally, organizations can also choose to report on individual Standards or disclosures, without preparing an entire sustainability report. With this flexibility, the new Standards are expected to pave the way for more sustainability disclosures from SMEs.

Source: GRI

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