GRI 305: Emissions 2016 sets out reporting requirements on the topic of emissions. This Standard can be used by an organization of any size, type, sector or geographic location that wants to report on its impacts related to this topic.


In the context of the GRI Standards, the environmental dimension of sustainability concerns an organization’s impacts on living and non-living natural systems, including land, air, water and ecosystems.

GRI 305 addresses emissions into air, which are the discharge of substances from a source into the atmosphere. Types of emissions include: greenhouse gas (GHG), ozone-depleting substances (ODS), and nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX), among other significant air emissions.

GHG emissions

GHG emissions are a major contributor to climate change and are governed by the United Nations (UN) ‘Framework Convention on Climate Change’ and the subsequent UN ‘Kyoto Protocol’.

This Standard covers the following GHGs:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)

Some GHGs, including methane, are also air pollutants that have significant adverse impacts on ecosystems, air quality, agriculture, and human and animal health.

As a result, different national and international regulations and incentive systems, such as emissions trading, aim to control the volume and reward the reduction of GHG emissions.

The reporting requirements for GHG emissions in this Standard are based on the requirements of the ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard’ (‘GHG Protocol Corporate Standard’) and the ‘GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard’ (‘GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard’). These two standards are part of the GHG Protocol developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The GHG Protocol has established a classification of GHG emissions called ‘Scope’: Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. The GHG emissions standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ‘ISO 14064’, represents these classifications of Scope with the following terms:

  • Direct GHG emissions = Scope I
  • Energy indirect GHG emissions = Scope 2
  • Other indirect GHG emissions = Scope 3

In this Standard, these terms are combined in the following way, as defined in the GRI Standards Glossary:

  • Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
  • Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
  • Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions

Ozone-depleting substances (ODS)

The ozone layer filters out most of the sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation. Observed and projected ozone depletion due to ODS generates worldwide concern. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer’ (‘Montreal Protocol’) regulates the phase-out of ODS internationally.

Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions

Pollutants such as NOX and SOX have adverse effects on climate, ecosystems, air quality, habitats, agriculture, and human and animal health. Deterioration of air quality, acidification, forest degradation and public health concerns have led to local and international regulations to control emissions of these pollutants.

Reductions in the emission of regulated pollutants lead to improved health conditions for workers and local communities and can enhance relations with affected stakeholders. In regions with emission caps, the volume of emissions also has direct cost implications.

Other significant air emissions include, for example, persistent organic pollutants or particulate matter, as well as air emissions that are regulated under international conventions and/or national laws or regulations, including those listed on an organization’s environmental permits.

Effective date: 1 July 2018

Earlier adoption is encouraged.



GRI 305: Emissions

1. Management approach disclosures
2. Topic-specific disclosures

Disclosure 305-1 Direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions
Disclosure 305-2 Energy indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions
Disclosure 305-3 Other indirect (Scope 3) GHG emissions
Disclosure 305-4 GHG emissions intensity
Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions
Disclosure 305-6 Emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS)
Disclosure 305-7 Nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX), and other significant air emissions





Please see the GRI Standards translation page for available translations of the Standards, or to find out more about the upcoming translation schedule and how to get involved.

Related Standards

This Standard is to be used together with the most recent versions of the following documents.