How to use the GRI Standards
What ways can I use the Standards?
The GRI Standards are structured as a set of modular, interrelated reporting standards. There are two basic approaches for using the GRI Standards:
1. Using the GRI Standards as a set to prepare a sustainability report in accordance with the Standards
The GRI Standards have been developed primarily to be used together to help an organization prepare a sustainability report which is based on the Reporting Principles and focuses on material topics.
If using this approach, the organization is required to use the three Standards in the Universal series (100) and only the topic-specific Standards (series 200, 300 and 400) that relate to the material topics identified.
2. Using selected Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information, without preparing a report in accordance with the Standards
This option is referred to as a ‘GRI-referenced’ claim. If using this approach, the organization chooses as many or as few Standards, according to its specific reporting needs.
For each of these ways of using the Standards there is a corresponding claim, or statement of use, which organizations are required to include in any reports or published materials with disclosures based on the Standards. See Section 3 of GRI 101: Foundation for information.
How should I write an in accordance or GRI-referenced claim for a report in a language for which no GRI Standards translation is available?
There are no specific instructions on how to translate the in accordance or GRI-referenced claims into a language for which no GRI Standards translation is available. The in accordance claims are those that organizations report in response to Disclosure 102-54 of GRI 102: General Disclosures and are described in clause 3.1 of GRI 101: Foundation. The GRI-referenced claim is that described in clause 3.3 of GRI 101: Foundation and contains the text in clause 184.108.40.206.
It is advised that the relevant claim is translated as closely as possible to the English version of the GRI Standards and the claim is included in the report in both languages, i.e., the language of the report and English. If it is not possible to translate the claim wording from the English version of the GRI Standards, or to include the claim in English, other GRI Standards translations are available here.
This is advice and not a requirement.
How can I notify GRI of the use of the GRI Standards?
Clause 3.4 in GRI 101: Foundation requires an organization to notify GRI of its use of the GRI Standards, and the claim it has made in the report or published material.
The preferred way of doing this is by registering the report through the GRI Standards Report Registration System.
Uploading your report with this tool enables you to maintain an account for your organization’s GRI Standards reports now and, in the future, and to share them easily in the online List of GRI Standards Reports.
To register your report please click here and login using your GRI user ID or, if you don’t have one, sign up for an account. Once you have logged-in, follow the steps to register your report. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I use the Sector Disclosures together with the GRI Standards?
The use of the GRI G4 Sector Disclosures is not required for preparing a report in accordance with the GRI Standards. Clause 2.3.1 in GRI 101: Foundation recommends that organizations consult the relevant Sector Disclosures, if available, to help identify their material topics.
The GSSB has launched the GRI Sector Program, which will develop Sector Standards that describe a sector’s most significant impacts from a sustainable development perspective. You can find out more on the Sector Program webpage.
While the Sector Standards are under development, the GRI G4 Sector Disclosures (developed for the GRI G4 Guidelines) can provide additional sector disclosures and guidance which can be used in conjunction with the GRI Standards. The content of these have not been updated as part of the transition from the G4 Guidelines to the GRI Standards.
G4 Sector Disclosures were developed for the following sectors:
- Airport Operators
- Construction and Real Estate
- Electric Utilities
- Event Organizers
- Financial Services
- Food Processing
- Mining and Metals
- Oil and Gas
These G4 Sector Disclosures are available in the Resource Center.
If an organization includes any G4 Sector Disclosures in a report prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, it is required to list these disclosures in the GRI content index (see Disclosure 102-55 in GRI 102: General Disclosures). The organization can choose how to present these disclosures in the content index. For example, it can list all Sector Disclosures together, or under the relevant material topic. See an example of a GRI content index on page 40 of GRI 102.