Topic Standard Project for Pollution

Standard(s) for reporting on pollution

Project Update

In March 2024, the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) approved a new Topic Standard project for pollution. All interested experts will be invited to nominate themselves to be part of the Working Group, by submitting their CV and the application form to [email protected], on Sunday 18 August 2024 the latest. This dedicated working group is to be appointed in October 2024. More information can be found in the Terms of Reference.

The project will follow the GSSB's Due Process Protocol. Get familiar with the GSSB Terms of Reference for more details.

The importance of this Standard

Pollution of air, water and soil significantly impacts the environment, biodiversity, human health and quality of life. For example according to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Ambient (outdoor) air pollution in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2019”. Another example is that 16% of China’s soil is polluted, and there are approximately three million potentially polluted sites in the European Economic Area and the West Balkans. A healthy soil is important for agriculture and biodiversity, but it is also better at storing carbon dioxide (CO2).

Global organizations are every day more committed to reducing pollution, and reporting by businesses plays a key role as well. The new Topic Standard will provide disclosures facilitating reporting of emissions into air, soil, and water, including management strategies for emissions and response to critical incidents.

Read the project proposal for more information.

About this project

The project includes the revision of the following disclosures:

  • Disclosures 305-6: Emissions of Ozone-depleting Substances (ODS), from GRI 305: Emissions 2016;
  • Disclosures 305-7: Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Oxides (SOx), and other significant air emissions, from GRI 305: Emissions 2016;
  • Disclosure 306-3: Significant Spills, from GRI 306: Effluents and Waste 2016.

It will however look at pollution more broadly, to reflect the latest internationally agreed best practices, and relevant intergovernmental instruments. Two overarching themes have been identified: emissions to air, soil and water, and critical incident management.  

GSSB approval of the project proposal
Appointment of the Pollution Working Group
Q3 2024 – Q3 2025
Development of the exposure draft(s)
Q4 2025
Public comment period on the set of draft Standards
Q1 2026 – Q3 2026
Consideration of public feedback and revision
Q1 2027
Start of alignment of new Topic Standard with Sector Standards

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GRI Topic Standard Project for Pollution _Working Group Terms of Reference file 24 Jun 2024 English 499 KB
GRI Topic Standard Project for Pollution_PWG_CandidateApplicationForm file 24 Jun 2024 English 206 KB
GRI Topic Standard Project for Pollution _Project proposal file 14 Mar 2024 English 491 KB

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