Laying the foundations for improved reporting on pollution

Published date: 27 June 2024

Recruitment of multistakeholder working group is now open

GRI has started the recruitment of an expert working group to guide the development of  new reporting standard(s) on pollution.

Pollution of air, water and soil severely impacts the environment, biodiversity, human health, and quality of life. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution alone in cities and rural areas caused an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2019. Furthermore, pollution can generate large-scale irreversible environmental damage posing serious threats to ecosystems, plus welfare losses that equate to over 6% of global GDP annually.

The recruitment process is open until 18 August. The working group will comprise representatives from the five GRI constituencies: business enterprise, investment institutions, labor organizations, mediating institutions, and civil society. Experts are being sought with backgrounds in reporting on air and soil pollutant emissions, hazardous substances, and critical incident management.

The project will look at all related impacts from a holistic perspective, including air, soil, water and other pollution-related dimensions. The Pollution Working Group will take forward the revision of existing disclosures, such as those on ozone-depleting substances, nitrogen and sulphur dioxides, and significant spills – as well as developing additional ones. The revised and new disclosures will lead to new Topic Standard(s) related to pollution. Furthermore, a supporting guidance document will be produced to help organizations and stakeholders navigate GRI disclosures on pollution.

For decades, there has been a lack of transparency on pollution and its harmful effects on people’s health, the environment and the planet. Against this backdrop, the Global Sustainability Standards Board instigated a review of GRI’s existing pollution disclosures and the creation of new ones, recognizing the need for more effective reporting by governments, businesses and other organizations. The next stage in this important and timely project is to recruit members who can bring a wide range of multistakeholder perspectives to join our Working Group and lead the work to create disclosures in support of reporting on pollution. The global call for applicants is now open and I encourage anyone with relevant expertise to apply

Bastian Buck, GRI Chief Standards Officer