Skip to Main Content

Standards and Codes

GRI Standards for Sustainability Reporting

The GRI Standards represent global best practice for reporting publicly on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts. Sustainability reporting based on the Standards provides information about an organization’s positive or negative contributions to sustainable development.

GRI Standards (English language)

Over 40 standards available by free download.  Topics include waste, water and effluents, biodiversity, energy, emissions, and economic performance. The GRI Resource Centre contains reports, presentations and videos.

Global Reporting Insititue (GRI) Background

From the GRI History and Mission:

"GRI was founded in Boston in 1997 following public outcry over the environmental damage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Our roots lie in the non-profit organizations CERES and the Tellus Institute (with involvement of the UN Environment Programme). The aim was to create the first accountability mechanism to ensure companies adhere to responsible environmental conduct principles, which was then broadened to include social, economic and governance issues.

The first version of what was then the GRI Guidelines (G1) published in 2000 – providing the first global framework for sustainability reporting. The following year, GRI was established as an independent, non-profit institution. In 2002, GRI relocated to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and the first update to the guidelines (G2) launched. As demand for GRI reporting and uptake from organizations steadily grew, the guidelines were expanded and improved, leading to G3 (2006) and G4 (2013).

With participation in sustainability reporting spreading around the world, GRI started opening a series of regional offices. This led to the current network of hubs being established in Brazil (2007), China (2009), India (2010), USA (2011), South Africa (2013), Colombia (2014) and Singapore (2019). GRI global conferences were held (in Amsterdam) in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2016, with a focus on more regular regional or virtual summits since.

In 2016, GRI transitioned from providing guidelines to setting the first global standards for sustainability reporting – the GRI Standards. The Standards continue to be updated and added to, including new Topic Standards on Tax (2019) and Waste (2020)."