New year, new reporting standards for issues that matter most

Published date: 10 January 2024

Two of the GRI Sector Standards come into effect from 1 January

As part of the continued development of the GRI Standards - the most widely used sustainability reporting standards in the world – two additional Sector Standards become effective for reporting from 1 January 2024: for coal and agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing. 

Adding to a growing suite of GRI Sector Standards, GRI 12: Coal Sector 2022 and GRI 13: Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors 2022 represent the authoritative, holistic, and internationally applicable standards for organizations to communicate their impacts on the economy, environment, and people in the respective sectors. 

In particular, GRI 12 sets expectations for coal organizations to disclose how they address the pressing need to transition to a low-carbon economy, enabling comparable and comprehensive reporting on issues such as: 

  • Effective management of organizational impacts on the environment, biodiversity, and climate change; 
  • Safeguarding of safety and well-being of employees and communities in full respect of their human rights; 
  • Anti-corruption measures, transparency on payments and contracts. 

GRI 13 aims to increase the completeness and comparability of sustainability-related information for organizations involved in crop cultivation, animal production, and aquaculture or fishing. The Standard addresses: 

  • Key material topics and disclosures for organizations based on their impacts across economic, environmental, and social dimensions – including those on biodiversity, food security, community engagement, animal welfare, soil health, and pesticide use; 
  • Existing linkages between the sectors and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); 
  • Policy implications for responsible business based on international frameworks, such as those set by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Labour Organization (ILO) 

Following the Sector Standard for Oil and Gas (GRI 11), which published in October 2021, GRI 12 and GRI 13 have been prioritized under the Sector Program based on their widely documented sustainability impacts, underpinning the design and approach of the GRI Sector Standards. Among the 40 initial sectors covered by the program, next in the pipeline is the Sector Standard for Mining – set to come out in February this year – and standards for textiles and apparel as well as financial services. 

Sector Standards complete GRI’s modular system of reporting. Organizations begin with the Universal Standards, then use the applicable Sector Standard(s) to determine material topics, and report on those using relevant Topic Standards. 

The GRI Sector Standards for Coal and for Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fishing are freely available for download on GRI’s website.