One Week To Go in GRI Biodiversity Consultation

Final opportunity to shape major update to 'GRI 304' sustainability reporting standard
Feb 21, 2023 11:20 PM ET
GRI Biodiviversity consultation underway

The public comment period for an exposure draft that proposes a significant revamp to the Biodiversity Standard (GRI 304) closes on 28 February. This reporting standard is being revised in response to growing pressures for organizations to do more to demonstrate accountability for their impacts, in the face of a global biodiversity crisis.

During the 12-week consultation, GRI has reached out to stakeholders around the world through a series of events. Following GRI engagements at COP15 (the UN Biodiversity Conference held in Montreal in December), six global webinars attracted high interest. Further sessions were held for Spanish and Portuguese speakers, as well as a dedicated event for the Africa region. Collectively, these events attracted some 2,400 attendees.

Judy Kuszewski, Chair of GRI’s Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), said:

“I encourage all stakeholders and interested parties to participate in this consultation, and help shape a standard that will be the global focal point for accountability on biodiversity impacts. Improved reporting – across sectors, regions and supply chains – is crucial for addressing information gaps and informing global solutions.”

As the public comment period draws to a conclusion, reporting organizations, data users and other stakeholders are asked to review the draft and submit feedback by completing this online form. All contributions will be considered by the multi-stakeholder Technical Committee that is leading the review process, to inform final changes before the revised Biodiversity Standard is expected in Q4 2023.

Th exposure draft puts forward a package of revisions, including:

  • Broader reporting that reflects impacts throughout the supply chain;
  • New disclosures to connect with the direct drivers of biodiversity loss, such as climate change;
  • Requirements for disclosure on biodiversity-related human rights impacts;
  • Emphasis on site-specific data, reflecting where the biodiversity impacts take place.

Crucially, the revision of GRI 304 builds on the latest authoritative insights in the field, including extensive engagement and alignment with other global biodiversity frameworks and initiatives.

Read the Medium article by GRI’s Elodie Chêne, reflecting on the Global Biodiversity Framework signed at COP15 and what it means in terms of increased disclosure expectations for the private sector.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent, international organization that helps businesses and other organizations take responsibility for their impacts, by providing the global common language to report those impacts.

The GRI Standards - the world's most widely used sustainability reporting standards - are developed through a multi-stakeholder process and provided as a free public good. Organizations start with the Universal Standards, then use applicable Sector Standard(s) to determine material topics, and report on those with Topic Standards.