The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international independent standards organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change, human rights and corruption.
The GRI standards are a set of interrelated reporting standards, enabling organizations to report publicly on their economic, environmental and social impacts and contribution towards sustainable development. GRI standards represent global best practice for reporting sustainability information – enhancing its comparability and quality.
Under the increasing pressure from different stakeholder groups – such as governments, consumers and investors – to be more transparent about their environmental, economic and social impacts, many companies have been encouraged to publish relevant reports in various forms to reflect their non-financial performance concerning environmental commitment, social responsibility and corporate governance structure in the management of sustainable development. These reports are also well known as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report and sustainability report in different regions of the world. Given the ascending demand from stakeholders and urgency for a unified and standardized methodology for reporting on company’s sustainability performance, the emergence of GRI standards serves as a useful tool, in which the criteria and framework for sustainability reporting recommended helps companies identify, gather and report the relevant information in a transparent and comparable manner that makes for more effective internal control and external comparison.
GRI standards provide companies with a flexible and future-proof reporting structure, that is, the forward-looking and rigorous approach advocated by GRI ensures its process and topics can always remain up-to-date and relevant. GRI standards take policy integration and referencing into consideration, enabling that governments and market regulators are able to easily reference the standards in their policy initiatives. Therefore, GRI standards are the reporting framework that meets all needs for sustainability reporting – from comprehensive reports to issue-specific disclosures. Meanwhile, GRI has been developed with multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest, upholding its strong credibility and robustness among companies’ stakeholders.