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GRI Introduces New Linkage Service to Align GRI Standards with EU CSRD Reporting Requirements

GRI Introduces New Linkage Service to Align GRI Standards with EU CSRD Reporting Requirements

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  • 42,500 companies to report impacts aligned with GRI and ESRS standards.
  • Comprehensive resources provided for CSRD compliance.
  • Enhanced global relevance through collaboration with ISSB and other jurisdictions.

With comprehensive disclosure requirements now applying to tens of thousands of companies under the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), what does it mean for organizations that already use GRI Standards?

An in-depth publication from GRI reveals a high degree of interoperability between the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) and GRI Standards. Key points include:

  • Collaboration with EFRAG: GRI’s partnership with EFRAG will see 42,500 companies publishing impact reports through ESRS, aligned with GRI Standards.
  • Support for Reporters: GRI provides an interoperability index, mapping table, training courses, and report services to help organizations meet CSRD requirements.
  • Continued Cooperation: A renewed MoU between GRI and EFRAG commits to deeper cooperation on standard-setting and capacity building.

Peter Paul van de Wijs, GRI Chief Policy Officer, stated:

The sustainability reporting landscape is fast evolving, and understandably there are questions from reporters and other stakeholders about GRI’s central role. Our four years of cooperation with EFRAG to co-construct the ESRS means our standards are complementary and closely aligned for impact reporting.

Most large companies, both in the EU and globally, already report using GRI. This alignment ensures they can apply existing practices to meet ESRS requirements, future-proofing the relevance of GRI Standards in the EU. Additionally, GRI’s engagements with the IFRS Foundation and other jurisdictions reinforce the global benefits of impact reporting with GRI.

New initiatives include:

  • GRI-ESRS Linkage Service: Offers feedback to reporting organizations on aligning a GRI sustainability report with ESRS.
  • GRI Academy Courses: New training focused on ESRS will be available this year.
  • Top 10 Summary: A concise version of the GRI-ESRS Q&A is also available.

The CSRD requirements apply to 42,500 companies as of January 2024, including large EU companies and those listed on European stock exchanges. Some large non-EU companies will be included from 2028.

GRI’s standards are the most used for sustainability reporting by European companies. ESRS mandates reporting on all material impacts, risks, and opportunities. Where there is a lack of coverage, such as in tax or sector-specific standards, companies can use GRI reporting to fill the gap for full compliance.

GRI signed an MoU with EFRAG in 2021 to co-construct the first set of ESRS. A new cooperation agreement in November 2023 substantiates the alignment benefits achieved between ESRS and GRI Standards, committing to ongoing technical support for reporting companies.

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The high degree of interoperability between ESRS and GRI Standards was confirmed in a joint statement by EFRAG and GRI in September 2023.

In May 2024, GRI, Pascal Durand (MEP and CSRD Rapporteur), and the Lefebvre Sarrut Group published CSRD Essentials, a free resource on implementing the new EU directive.


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