Sustainability reporting as promoted by GRI Standards is the practice of public reporting by organizations on their economic, environmental and social impacts.
It is a process by which organizations identify their significant impacts and disclose them in accordance with a standardized framework. The use of the reporting standards increases both the comparability and quality of the information reported, allowing for more informed decisions concerning the relationship of the organization’s activities and its impact on sustainable development.
The outcome of a sustainability reporting process can, but does not have to be a standalone sustainability report. The sustainability reporting process can also involve specific disclosures relating to the impacts of an organization’s activities on sustainable development.
Globally accepted sustainability reporting standards create a common language for organizations and stakeholders for communicating and understanding organizations’ impacts. They provide a standardized way to describe key impacts on the economy, environment and society, and increase the quality of information for stakeholders, enabling greater accountability.
GRI Standards are developed and approved by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), with the intention of being applied on a globally consistent basis, thus providing stakeholders with the ability to compare the impacts of various reporting organizations.
This year the GRI G4 Guidelines have transitioned to GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards), published 19 October 2016. The new Standards can be accessed through the GRI Standards Download Center.
To learn more, visit the GRI Standards page, or read the project background document.