Launched in 2006, the G3 Guidelines feature sustainability disclosures that organizations can adopt flexibly and incrementally, enabling them to be transparent about their performance in key sustainability areas.
In 2011, the G3.1 Guidelines were released. This update completed the content of G3, with expanded guidance on local community impacts, human rights and gender. It also introduced the Technical Protocol – Applying the Report Content Principles offering process guidance on how to define the content of a sustainability report.
In May 2013, GRI launched the fourth generation of Guidelines, the G4.
Reporting organizations using the G3 or G3.1 Guidelines will want to decide for themselves when to transition to the G4 Guidelines. For this reason, GRI will continue to recognize reports based on the G3 and G3.1 Guidelines for up to two full reporting cycles. However, reports published after 31 December 2015 should be prepared in accordance with the G4 Guidelines. GRI recommends that first time reporting organizations use the G4 Guidelines, even if they do not fulfill the requirements of the ‘in accordance’ options in the first reporting cycles (see section 3.4 ‘Note on reports that are not prepared ‘in accordance’ with the Guidelines’ in the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures of the G4 Guidelines).
To facilitate the transition to G4 for organizations already reporting according to G3 or G3.1, GRI provides an overview of changes in Standard Disclosures from both G3 and G3.1 to G4 Guidelines.
For further information on changes in G4, please refer to the G4 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).