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GRI Launches New Service to Help Reporting Companies Comply with CSRD Sustainability Reporting Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced today the launch of its new GRI-ESRS Linkage Service, aimed at enabling companies reporting under its disclosure standards to align with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) underlying the EU’s new Corporate Sustainable Reporting Directive (CSRD).

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are one of the most commonly accepted global standards for sustainability reporting by companies, developed to enable consistent reporting across companies and industries, providing clearer communication to stakeholders regarding sustainability matters. The GRI published a major update of the standards in 2021, and recently published new proposed climate change and energy reporting standards as well as a new biodiversity reporting standard. The GRI’s standards are developed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB).

The ESRS, developed by EFRAG, and officially adopted by the European Commission in 2023, set out the rules and requirements for companies to report on sustainability-related impacts, opportunities and risks under the CSRD. The CSRD, which began applying to some companies as of the beginning of 2024, will significantly expand the number of companies required to provide sustainability disclosures to over 50,000 from around 12,000 currently, and introduce more detailed reporting requirements on company impacts on the environment, human rights and social standards and sustainability-related risk.

The launch of the new service follows the confirmation last year by the GRI and EFRAG that they have achieved a high level of interoperability between the ESRS and the GRI Standards. The organizations subsequently announced that they would deepen their cooperation on sustainability reporting and collaborate in areas including reporting standards development and training, in addition to launching a GRI-ESRS Interoperability Index, a new tool outlining how the disclosure requirements and data points in ESRS and the GRI standards relate to each other, preventing the need for “double reporting” for entities disclosing under both systems.

Under the new service, the GRI will look at a reporting company’s GRI content index and provide feedback on specific GRI-ESRS linkages, including explaining areas in which disclosures do or do not align. The GRI will also provide feedback on ESRS Topical Areas covered by the reporting organization’s material topics disclosures, and provide suggestions on how to structure the ESRS sustainability statement, as well as delivering a list of all ESRS data points that do not have linkages to GRI standards.

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