Setting a new global benchmark for sustainability reporting
The revised Universal Standards represent the most significant update since GRI transitioned from providing guidance to setting standards in 2016.
The Universal Standards strengthen the very foundations of all reporting through GRI, delivering the highest level of transparency for organizational impacts on the economy, environment, and people. They are the first and only global reporting standards to fully incorporate reporting on human rights and environmental due diligence, in line with authoritative and intergovernmental instruments as set by the UN and OECD.
The forward-looking approach that underpinned the revision of the Universal Standards means organizations will be best positioned to use their GRI reporting to respond to emerging regulatory disclosure needs, such as the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive and the IFRS plans for enterprise value standards.
A new user-friendly modular system now enables all reporting organizations to apply the revised Universal Standards alongside the application of their material Topic Standards, both of which are fully integrated with the new Sector Standards. For a detailed overview of how to navigate the new GRI Standards system, please read our introductory document. More information can also be found in our flyer, FAQ and mapping document, all of which can be accessed below.
The revised Universal Standards are freely available for download. They are in effect for reporting from 1 January 2023, with early adoption encouraged.
To help reporters better navigate the changes made to the Universal Standards, we have a list of upcoming webinars:
Online training options are also available, with a new course added to the GRI Academy: Transitioning to the GRI Standards 2021 Update course.
'Basis for conclusions for the Universal Standards update 2021' provides a summary of the public comments received. It also provides a summary of how the GSSB responded to these comments in the finalization of the Standard.
Initiated by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) in 2019, the project aimed to review the GRI Universal Standards, which consist of GRI 101: Foundation 2016, GRI 102: General Disclosures 2016 and GRI 103: Management Approach 2016, to improve the quality and consistency of sustainability reporting as well as how organizations use the Standards to disclose their impact on economy, environment, and people. In particular, the project focused on the following:
The review of the Universal Standards was informed by the recommendations of the GRI Technical Committee on Human Rights Disclosure, a stakeholder group on labor-related disclosures.
The project followed the GSSB Due Process Protocol, the implementation of which is overseen by the Due Process Oversight Committee. The final approval was granted on 2 July 2021. The project proposal can be found here.
|GRI Universal Standards explanatory memorandum||file||19 Sep 2020||English||349 KB|
|GRI Universal Standards mapping document||file||19 Sep 2020||English||189 KB|
|GSSB Due Process Protocol 2018||file||18 Oct 2018||English||213 KB|
|GSSB Terms of Reference||file||18 Oct 2018||English||108 KB|
|GSSB Work Program 2017-2019||file||31 Jan 2018||English||320 KB|