GRI Standards take off at launch
02 November 2016

​Two weeks after launch, organizations around the world are gearing up to use the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) for reporting their impacts on the economy, the environment and society.

Interest high in GRI Standards and resources
Before the launch, reporters heard about the flexible, modular structure of the GRI Standards – and how they will contribute to a common global language for non-financial reporting.

In the days following the launch, the various GRI Standards were downloaded thousands of times from the GRI Standards Download Center, indicating considerable excitement about the first global standards for sustainability reporting.

1,146 participants also registered for live introductory webinars during launch week – logging in to learn more about the Standards and asking questions of the GRI experts first hand. A recorded webinar and its presentation materials are now available on the Getting Started with the GRI Standards page, and are an excellent entry point to the GRI Standards.

Existing reporters have also come on-board quickly. The mapping tool – which shows the updates from G4 to the GRI Standards – was downloaded frequently from the GRI Standards Resource Download Center (see more below). An introductory animation highlighting the updates and features of the Standards has also been widely viewed and shared.

Timeline for transitioning
A common question has been when reporters will be required to use the GRI Standards. The Standards are effective for all reports published on or after 1 July 2018. Although the G4 Guidelines will remain valid until 30 June 2018, earlier adoption of the Standards is recommended and encouraged. Early adopters can get dedicated support and position themselves on the cutting edge of sustainability reporting by joining the GRI Standards Pioneers program, hosted through GRI’s GOLD Community.

Resources available
Stakeholders have also asked about resources to help them transition to the GRI Standards. Existing G4 reporters are encouraged to check out the ‘Mapping G4 to the Standards’ tool. This free resource lets reporters track changes by disclosure or topic, and is available as a flexible Excel tool or a printable PDF. Other introductory tools can be found on the GRI Standards Resource Download Center, and on the Getting started with GRI Standards page.

Answers to other frequently asked questions about the Standards have been collected in the Questions and Feedback section of the GRI Standards webpages. This offers further useful information, such as how to prepare a report in accordance with the Standards and how concepts such as materiality and topic Boundary have been clarified.

Engage with the Standards
Stakeholders can engage further with the GRI Standards at a series of free in-person launch events, scheduled in many regions around the world until May 2017. These events give reporters a chance to interact with experts from GRI, learn more about the features of the Standards, and get first-hand answers to any questions. Registration is free, and available here.

For more hands-on guidance, a new half day training module, Transitioning from G4 to the GRI Standards, is now offered through GRI’s certified training partners.

Help develop the Standards
There are a number of opportunities for those interested in helping to develop and disseminate the GRI Standards.

GRI is currently looking for partners to sponsor translations of the Standards into a range of languages. For more information about the translation process and how to get involved, see the Translations page.

Join the GSSB
For interested and qualified candidates, there is also an open call for nominations to fill five vacancies on the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) – including the Chair of the Board – for three year terms beginning 1 January 2017.

As GRI’s independent standard-setting body, the GSSB has sole responsibility for developing the GRI Standards. Its diverse line-up of experts from around the world play a critical role in overseeing the technical rigor of the Standards, and ensuring that all content is developed in the public interest.

As GSSB members, successful candidates will help to shape the future of the GRI Standards, non-financial reporting, and corporate transparency. Candidates with practical experience related to sustainability reporting in business, the investor community, and civil society organizations are encouraged to apply by 27 November 2016.