Contribute to the Evolution of the GRI Standards

Deadline approaching for Universal Standards public comment period
Aug 31, 2020 9:30 AM ET
Press Release

The consultation on revisions to the Universal Standards, the reporting that is at the foundation of all sustainability reporting through GRI, is open for 10 more days.

Groups, organizations and individuals around the world are urged to contribute their views and help shape these changes – which will be the biggest update since GRI transitioned in 2016 from providing guidelines to setting globally applicable standards. The public comment period will close on 9 September 2020.

The refresh of the Universal Standards includes:

  • New disclosures on responsible business conduct, due diligence, human rights and governance;
  • Updated reporting model that replaces the ‘Core’ and ‘Comprehensive’ options;
  • Greater clarity and new guidance on the key concepts of reporting – including ‘impact’, ‘material topic’ and ‘stakeholder’; and
  • Revised reporting principles that increase the focus on high quality and well-presented information.

Bastian Buck, GRI Chief of Standards, said:

“Inclusive, global and multi-stakeholder engagement is at the heart of GRI’s standard setting, therefore we highly value input from across different regions and constituencies, to help us shape these changes to the Universal Standards.

The Universal Standards revisions will apply to every organization that reports through the GRI Standards – the most widely used standards for sustainability reporting. Therefore, they have the potential to affect the way that thousands of companies around the world communicate and disclose their impacts on the economy, the environment and people.”

To comment, access the online survey for the exposure draft of the revised Universal Standards, by 9 September. Supporting materials are available via the project page, including a webinar recording presenting the changes.

The GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board initiated the review of the Universal Standards in March 2019, to support the continuous improvement of the GRI Standards and respond to the review of GRI’s human rights related Standards.

An explanatory memorandum sets out the objectives of revising the Universal Standards. The exposure draft was developed with extensive consultation with stakeholders and experts. Any questions can be directed to universal@globalreporting.org.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent international organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts.