Sector Standards Project for Oil, Gas, and Coal

The first pilot project for the GRI Sector Program

Why oil, gas, and coal

The project to develop Sector Standards for oil, gas, and coal is the first pilot project under the new GRI Sector Program. These sectors were prioritized because of their widely documented impacts across the economic, environmental and social dimensions.

The project aims to develop Sector Standards that will identify and describe the oil, gas, and coal sectors’ most significant impacts and stakeholder concerns from a sustainable development perspective. These Standards are intended to create a foundation for improving transparency and more consistent reporting from organizations in these sectors, as well as reflect stakeholder expectations for the sectors’ sustainability reporting.

The exposure draft of Sector Standard: Oil and Gas, which was recently available for a 90-day public comment, identifies 22 likely material topics for organizations with oil and gas activities – covering climate change, the environment, health and safety, employment, communities, and governance.

About the project

The oil, gas, and coal project commenced in March 2019.

While, it was originally proposed that oil, gas, and coal would be covered in one Sector Standard, following advice from the project working group (PWG), in April 2020, the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the independent body responsible for setting the GRI Standards, decided to split the scope of the project, and develop a Sector Standard for oil and gas and a separate Sector Standard for coal. The development of these Standards follows different timelines.

An expert and multi-stakeholder project working group appointed by the GSSB is leading the development of the two Sector Standards. Click here for member biographies.

The public consultation period seeking input on the first exposure draft - for oil and gas - was open from 8 July to 6 October 2020. Responses received on the exposure draft have now been published.

The feedback received is currently under review.  An updated timeline of the project as well as a summary of the feedback received on the exposure draft will be published in the coming months.

The project follows the GSSB’s Due Process Protocol, the implementation of which will be overseen by the Due Process Oversight Committee

Learn more about the GRI Sector Program here. This GRI Sector Program information sheet summarizes the concept and proposed structure of Sector Standards.

Project timeline

For more information about the development process and project schedule, see the Terms of Reference. This timeline may be subject to change. 

March 2019: Project commencement

Oil and Gas:

July 2019June 2020: Development of draft Sector Standard for oil and gas

8 July – 6 October 2020: Public comment period

Q3 2020 – Q2 2021: Consideration of received comments and revisions

2H 2021:  The expected release of Sector Standard: Oil and Gas


Q2 2020 – Q1 2021: Development of draft Sector Standard for coal

Q2 2021: Public comment period

Q3 – Q4 2021: Consideration of received comments and revisions 

End 2021: The expected release of Sector Standard: Coal

Related documents

GRI Sector Program Description file 07 Feb 2019 English 449 KB
Oil, Gas and Coal Sector Standard Project Proposal file 26 Mar 2019 English 322 KB
Terms of Reference: GRI Project Working Group for the Oil, Gas, and Coal Sector file 27 Mar 2019 English 266 KB
GSSB Terms of Reference file 18 Oct 2018 English 108 KB
GRI Sector Standards Project for Oil, Gas, and Coal – Exposure draft for oil and gas file 07 Oct 2020 English 4.7 MB
GRI Universal Standards project exposure draft file 19 Sep 2020 English 4.1 MB
GSSB Due Process Protocol 2018 file 18 Oct 2018 English 213 KB
GSSB Work Program 2020-2022 file 01 Dec 2020 English 146 KB

Seeking more information?

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Contact the Oil, Gas & Coal project team