Questions about how to use the GRI Standards

How can the GRI Standards be used?

The GRI Standards are structured as a set of modular, interrelated reporting standards. There are two basic approaches for using the GRI Standards:

1. Using the GRI Standards as a set to prepare a sustainability report in accordance with the Standards

The GRI Standards have been developed primarily to be used together to help an organization prepare a sustainability report which is based on the Reporting Principles and focuses on material topics.

If using this approach, the organization is required to use the three Standards in the Universal series (100) and only the topic-specific Standards (series 200, 300 and 400) that relate to the material topics identified.

2. Using selected Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information, without preparing a report in accordance with the Standards

This option is referred to as a ‘GRI-referenced’ claim. If using this approach, the organization chooses as many or as few Standards, according to its specific reporting needs.

For each of these ways of using the Standards there is a corresponding claim, or statement of use, which organizations are required to include in any reports or published materials with disclosures based on the Standards. See Section 3 of GRI 101: Foundation for information.

How should I write an in accordance or GRI-referenced claim for a report in a language for which no GRI Standards translation is available?

There are no specific instructions on how to translate the in accordance or GRI-referenced claims into a language for which no GRI Standards translation is available. The in accordance claims are those that organizations report in response to Disclosure 102-54 of GRI 102: General Disclosures and are described in clause 3.1 of GRI 101: Foundation. The GRI-referenced claim is that described in clause 3.3 of GRI 101: Foundation and contains the text in clause 3.3.1.1.

It is advised that the relevant claim is translated as closely as possible to the English version of the GRI Standards and the claim is included in the report in both languages, i.e., the language of the report and English. If it is not possible to translate the claim wording from the English version of the GRI Standards, or to include the claim in English, other GRI Standards translations are available here.

This is advice and not a requirement.

How can I notify GRI of the use of the GRI Standards?

Clause 3.4 in GRI 101: Foundation requires an organization to notify GRI of its use of the GRI Standards, and the claim it has made in the report or published material.

The preferred way of doing this is by registering the report through the GRI Standards Report Registration System.

Uploading your report with this tool enables you to maintain an account for your organization’s GRI Standards reports now and, in the future, and to share them easily in the online List of GRI Standards Reports.

To register your report please click here and login using your GRI user ID or, if you don’t have one, sign up for an account. Once you have logged-in, follow the steps to register your report. For any questions, please email standards@globalreporting.org.

How do I use the Sector Disclosures together with the GRI Standards?

The GRI Sector Disclosures (which were developed for the GRI G4 Guidelines) provide additional sector-specific disclosures and guidance which can be used in conjunction with the GRI Standards. This means that it is possible to include disclosures from the GRI Sector Disclosures documents in a report prepared with the GRI Standards. The use of the GRI Sector Disclosures is recommended, but it is not required, in order to make a claim that a report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards.

Clause 2.3.1 in GRI 101: Foundation recommends that organizations consult the relevant Sector Disclosures, if available, to help identify their material topics.

For more information, see page 18 in GRI 101. The Sector Disclosures can be found on the GRI Standards website here.

It is important to note that the content of these GRI Sector Disclosures have not been updated as part of the transition from the G4 Guidelines to the GRI Standards. The GSSB does intend to initiate work to update sector guidance, starting in 2018. More information will be shared on the GSSB page once it is available.

If an organization includes any Sector Disclosures in a report prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards, it is required to list these disclosures in the GRI content index (see Disclosure 102-55 in GRI 102: General Disclosures). The organization can choose how to present these disclosures in the content index. For example, it can list all Sector Disclosures together, or under the relevant material topic. See an example of a GRI content index on page 40 of GRI 102.