GRI reporting best prepares companies for new EU standards

Published date: 07 December 2022

Q&A on the European Sustainability Reporting Standards

Key questions on the roll-out of the new European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) have been addressed, offering reassurance to the thousands of organizations already using the GRI Standards that their current reporting practices can best prepare them for the new requirements.  

The GRI and ESRS Q&A publication emphasizes the joint work already undertaken with EFRAG to achieve global comparability through alignment with the GRI Standards, to reduce reporting burden.

Under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the ESRS will apply to 50,000 companies from 2024. Following the submission by EFRAG to the European Commission of the first set of draft standards last month, GRI has answered early questions on what it means for GRI reporters.

The Q&A addresses key issues, such as:

    • The high relevance of GRI reporting content and processes, for the impact reporting requirements of the ESRS;
    • The support and resources that reporting companies can expect from GRI;
    • How the ESRS fits with GRI’s collaboration with the IFRS Foundation;
    • Why companies outside the EU need to take notice.

The sustainability reporting landscape is evolving fast, therefore it’s understandable that businesses have questions on what the changes may mean for them. Confirmation that the draft ESRS aligns as closely as possible with the GRI Standards offers GRI reporters reassurance that they can use their current reporting practices to prepare for the new requirements. Taken together with our ongoing collaboration with the IFRS Foundation and the ISSB on their sustainability-related disclosures, this further reinforces the relevance of GRI, demonstrating our leadership position as provider of the global benchmark for reporting on impacts.”

Eelco van der Enden, GRI CEO

Since the early stages, we have actively engaged with EFRAG in the development of the ESRS. We’ll continue to do so, as the remaining standards are developed. Our focus is on how to ensure optimal interoperability between the GRI Standards and ESRS – minimizing reporting burden and challenge for companies. At each step of the way, we commit to ensuring organizations understand the changes and what to expect, as demonstrated by this new Q&A resource. Further information is still to come, including detailed mapping of the disclosures from both sets of standards and technical guidance, which will help GRI reporting companies to be ready for CSRD requirements.”

Judy Kuszewski, Chair of GRI’s Global Sustainability Standards Board

Today at the 2022 EFRAG Conference, Eelco van der Enden and Emmanuel Faber (International Sustainability Standards Board) participated in a panel discussion on the future of corporate reporting, moderated by Patrick de Cambourg, Chair of the EFRAG Sustainability Reporting Board.

The CSRD, which received final approval from the European Council on 28 November, introduces legislation to significantly expand mandatory sustainability disclosure requirements, replacing the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

Under the EFRAG-GRI cooperation agreement, signed in July 2021, the two organizations joined each other’s technical expert groups and committed to share information, and for standard setting activities and timelines to be aligned as much as possible.

The 2022 KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting (published in October) concluded that the GRI Standards are the world’s most widely used, adopted by 73% of the largest 250 global companies and by 68% of a wider sample of 5,800 businesses around the world.