On 18th November 2021, the GRI Summit was held virtually, offering a jam-packed agenda focusing on recent developments in the corporate reporting landscape, the sustainability landscape, and recent changes as well as updates on the GRI Standards.
Leading up to and following COP26, there have been numerous changes in the sustainability and corporate reporting landscape globally, driven by the growing need for transparency in reporting and acknowledgement of sustainable development challenges and issues (environmental, social and governance).
The concept of double materiality and the necessity for organisations to report on both financial and sustainable development issues was highlighted at the GRI Summit. Through improved corporate and sustainability reporting, there is potential for organisations to enhance their financial performance and improve stakeholder engagement and trust.
External stakeholders are becoming increasingly interested in company disclosures and reporting, particularly around social and environmental issues, and how organisations are responding to the Sustainable Development Goals. With increased scrutiny, it is essential that organisations relook their strategies and reporting to ensure they are providing accurate, measurable data that is aligned with international standards and frameworks, while still articulating the financial and sustainable performance of the organisation.
The GRI has also embarked on a process of developing sector-specific standards for 40 sectors, starting with those that have the highest impact. There is a need for sector-specific standards to ensure consistent and quality reporting which allows for collective action to be taken in responding to global challenges facing our economies, the environment and society.
The Oil and Gas sector standard was recently launched and will be effective for reporting from January 2023, with sector-specific standards on coal, agriculture, aquaculture, fishing, and mining expected to follow in the coming months. Other developments within the GRI standards space includes updating the GRI biodiversity standard which will be developed from 2022 onwards. It is likely this will also support the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) which was launched in 2021 and is expected to build upon the foundation of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
The reporting and sustainability landscape continues to evolve and shift as the global community ramps up efforts to responds to key environmental, social and governance issues facing us.
Do you need help navigating this ever-changing landscape? We understand that not all reporting standards are the same, nor do they appeal to the same stakeholders. Being fully conversant with ESG guidelines and principles, we assist clients in determining the right standards for their strategic goals and stakeholders. Get in touch with us today.