GSSB FAQ

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Global Sustainability Standards Board and its work below, including:

  1. What has changed to strengthen the process for developing and approving standards?
  2. How are GRI Standards developed and approved?
  3. How does the GSSB collaborate with other standard-setting organizations? 
  4. How are GRI’s standard-setting activities funded?
  5. Who chairs the GSSB?
  6. Who selects the members of the IAC?
  7. How are the members of the DPOC selected?
  8. Will GRI separate into two separate legal entities? 

1. What has changed to strengthen the process for developing and approving standards?

In 2015 the GRI Board of Directors approved changes to strengthen the independence of the governance and management of the standard-setting activities and to meet the requirements expected of a public standard setter.

There are six main features of the governance and management structure related to standard setting activities:

  • An organizational firewall has been created between standard‐setting activities and all other GRI organizational activities.
  • A separate governance structure for standard-setting has been implemented, including the creation of a new Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the Due Process Oversight Committee (DPOC) and the Independent Appointments Committee (IAC)
  • The global multi‐stakeholder principle will be safeguarded.
  • A formal Due Process Protocol (DPP) for GRI Standards development has been created.
  • GRI will provide unconditional funding to support the development of the GRI Standards.
  • Transparency of standards development processes will be maintained. (Meeting agendas, papers and minutes related to the Standards development will be available on GRI/GSSB website.)

2. How are GRI Standards developed and approved?

GRI Standards are developed according to a formally defined Due Process Protocol, which is overseen by the Due Process Oversight Committee (DPOC). The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are built on a foundation of more than 15 years of robust global multi-stakeholder development. The Due Process Protocol ensures that the Standards are developed following a transparent and robust process, that they continue to promote the public interest, and are aligned with GRI’s vision and mission.

Members are appointed to the GSSB and DPOC through a nomination and selection process, which is the responsibility of the Independent Appointments Committee (IAC). This ensures independence in accordance with the public interest. The IAC consists of five members who are appointed by the Extended GRI Nominating Committee (EGNC). The EGNC consists of the six members of the GRI Nominating Committee (GNC) together with a maximum of three additional external individuals.

3. How does the GSSB collaborate with other standard-setting organizations?  

The GSSB welcomes collaboration and recognizes that there are many different types of organizations working on issues relating to sustainable development. The GSSB is keen to identify common work areas to promote greater transparency about the sustainability impacts of organizations. 

4. How are GRI’s standard-setting activities funded?

GRI provides unrestricted funding to support the development of the GRI Standards. The GSSB does not undertake specific fundraising for the development of the Standards.

5. Who chairs the GSSB? 

Judy Kuszewski has been appointed Chair of the GSSB by the IAC for a term extending through 31 December 2019. Read more information about Judy and the rest of the GSSB Members here.

6. Who selects the members of the IAC?

In GRI’s new governance structure, an Extended GRI Nominating Committee (EGNC) has been created for the purpose of appointing the members of the IAC.  The EGNC consists of the members of the GRI Nominating Committee (GNC) together with up to three additional individuals.  The GRI Nominating Committee is made up of two members appointed by the GRI Board of Directors and two members appointed by the GRI Stakeholder Council (SC). The Chair of the Board and the Chair of the SC both serve as ex‐officio members on the GNC.

The key responsibilities of the GNC are to coordinate and manage the annual nomination processes for the Board and SC and to present a recommended list of nominees to the SC and Organizational Stakeholders respectively. These nominations are to be based on a transparent, open and objective nomination process. 

7. How are the members of the DPOC selected? 

Members of the DPOC are appointed by the IAC. See the Terms of Reference of the DPOC and IAC for more detail. 

8. Will GRI separate into two separate legal entities? 

No. The GSSB is established as an independent operating entity under the auspices of the GRI Board of Directors. It has the sole responsibility for setting globally accepted sustainability reporting standards (GRI Standards), according to a formally defined due process, exclusively in the public interest. Under a revised Deed of Incorporation, the GRI Board of Directors delegates the authority to develop GRI Standards to the GSSB.