GRI Standards Launch in India
14 February 2017, Mumbai: GRI launched the world’s first global standards for sustainability reporting, giving companies a common language for disclosing non-financial information. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards will enable companies around the world to be more transparent about their impacts on the economy, the environment and society. They will also help organizations make better decisions and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
?The GRI Standards are the latest evolution of GRI’s reporting disclosures, which have been developed through more than 15 years of a robust multi-stakeholder process. The Standards are based on the GRI G4 Guidelines, the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting disclosures, and feature an improved format and new modular structure. The new GRI Standards definitively replace the G4 Guidelines, which will be phased out by 1 July 2018.
"GRI Standards build on the groundbreaking work we have done over the last two decades. They will enhance transparency around business impacts on some of the most pressing issues facing humanity including combating climate change, promoting human rights and ensuring gender equality, to name only a few,” said GRI Deputy Chief Executive Teresa Fogelberg. “Already 42 countries or regional authorities reference GRI in their sustainability policies and we believe this figure will continue to rise with the new GRI Standards in place."
The GRI Standards are a set of 36 modular Standards that facilitate corporate reporting on topics such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use, and labor practices. The new format allows GRI to update individual topics based on market and sustainability needs, without requiring revisions to the entire set of GRI Standards. The GRI Standards are centered on materiality – focusing on the topics that represent the most significant impacts of the organization and are most important to organizations’ stakeholders – which supports sustainability reporting that is tailored to each individual company. A company can prepare a sustainability report in accordance with the GRI Standards at Core or Comprehensive level, or disclose individual topics to meet specific reporting needs.
According to research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, 75 percent of senior executives in investment firms agree that a company’s sustainability performance is important to consider when making investment decisions. Most of the world’s biggest companies publish this information and with the new GRI Standards many more organizations – including small companies – will be able to provide investors, consumers, employees and other stakeholders with the performance information they need.
"The new GRI Standards are the future of reporting. They build on GRI's pioneering work in the sustainability field and come in a new format that will give organizations more flexibility in reporting,” said Bastian Buck, GRI’s Standards Director. “We believe this will open the door for many more businesses to begin disclosing their sustainability impacts and, more importantly, start working to improve those impacts, in a way that can ultimately lead to our goal of sustainable development."
The GRI Standards are available for free download on the GRI Standards hub on the GRI website, along with detailed mapping documents that show all of the changes from G4 to GRI Standards.
BSE along with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) , Yes Bank and GRI are co-hosting the Launch of the GRI Standards in India on 14th February 2017 in Mumbai and 16th February 2017 in New Delhi. BSE Ltd being the first stock exchange from Asia to sign the Sustainable Stock Exchange initiative has taken a lead role in India to drive sustainability reporting for its listed companies. BSE has launched theme-based indices like S&P BSE Carbonex and S&P BSE Greenex. It has created a dedicated section on its website www.bseindia.com for sustainability reporting. BSE is also part of the Sustainability Working Group of World Federation of Stock Exchange (WFE) and engages with other stock exchanges to promote best global practices for sustainability disclosure
Mr. Neeraj Kulshrestha , Chief Business Operations, BSE says, “We at BSE believe that sustainability of business is now a priority and not merely an option. The principles of giving back to society and conservation of resources for future generations are the key fundamentals that BSE supports. Companies listed at BSE are encouraged to adopt the best practices on disclosure of sustainability measures they follow. Widespread adoption of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards will be a leap forward towards not only complying with green initiatives but also opening avenues for profound positive effect on business”
GRI and BSE entered a formal MoU in 2016 to work collaboratively and support the Top 500 listed companies in establishing sustainability reporting processes and preparing sustainability reports by the end of 2017. The collaboration led to the creation of a linkage document that is designed to show companies how requirements under the SEBI BRR Framework correspond to the GRI Standards. The linkage document of the GRI Standards and the SEBI BRR Framework will be also launched at the events in Mumbai and Delhi.
“The coinciding time of the launch of the GRI Standards and the linkage document make it much easier for companies to report non-financial information, using a well-understood shared language,” said Dr. Aditi Haldar, GRI, Director Regional Hub South Asia. “The Standards are more straightforward, making them accessible to potentially millions of businesses worldwide. Sustainability reporting, using the GRI Standards, is the best way for a company to disclose its economic, environmental and social impacts, thus providing insights into its contributions – positive or negative – toward sustainable development. By making use of both the GRI Standards and the SEBI BRR Framework, a company can meet the growing demand for sustainability information, and be more transparent and accountable to its stakeholders, thereby increasing trust”.
For more information about the new GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, please contact Aditi Haldar at email@example.com or visit the GRI Standards hub at www.globalreporting.org/standands