Transparency standard to inform global response to biodiversity crisis

Transparency standard to inform global response to biodiversity crisis

Published date: 25 January 2024

New GRI Biodiversity Standard available for use by companies around the world

As nature faces unprecedented pressures, with human activity the leading cause for one million animal and plant species being pushed to the brink of extinction, GRI has today published a major update to its Biodiversity Standard.

Setting a new global benchmark in accountability for biodiversity impacts, GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024 supports organizations around the world to comprehensively disclose their most significant impacts on biodiversity, throughout their operations and value chain.

Enabling companies to meet growing demands from multiple stakeholders for information on biodiversity impacts, the GRI Biodiversity Standard delivers:

  • Full transparency throughout the supply chain – often where the most significant impacts on biodiversity can go under reported.
  • Location-specific reporting on impacts – including countries and jurisdictions, with detailed information on the place and size of operational sites.
  • New disclosures on the direct drivers of biodiversity loss – covering land use, climate change, overexploitation, pollution and invasive species.
  • Requirements for reporting impacts on society – including those on communities and Indigenous Peoples, and how organizations engage with local groups  in the restoration of affected ecosystems.

The revised GRI Standard builds on key global developments in the biodiversity field, such as the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the Science Based Target Network (SBTN) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

The new GRI Biodiversity Standard arrives at a time when biodiversity is on a precipice: the latest IPBES assessment warns that biodiversity is declining in every region; while 50% of the global economy is under threat due to biodiversity loss (WEF analysis). Meanwhile, the internationally-agreed GBF is galvanizing action to protect biodiversity, with Target 15 requiring businesses to disclose and reduce biodiversity-related risks and impacts.

Any organization can freely download GRI 101 now, while it will be formally in effect for reporting on 1 January 2026. Over the next two years, GRI will pilot the use of the Standard with early adopters, with priority given to GRI Community members.

The role of the GRI Biodiversity Standard in the global context will be presented in two webinars, for which free places can now be booked: 31 January (09:00 CET) or 1 February (16:00 CET). Attendees will hear from GRI and the GSSB alongside key stakeholders.

GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024 updates and will replace GRI 304: Biodiversity 2016. The revised Standard was developed through a multi-stakeholder process, with a Technical Committee appointed by the GSSB that includes experts from:

  • Business: ConocoPhillips, DSM, L'Occitane, Rio Tinto
  • Civil society: BirdLife International, Global Commons Alliance, Marine Watch International, WWF
  • Investors: Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials, World Bank
  • Labor: Department of Conservation – Wellington
  • Mediating institutions: CDP, Global Balance, Lancaster University, Pollination, Rainforest Alliance, Union for Ethical BioTrade, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

The development of the Standard was informed by a public comment period that concluded in early 2023 and received 122 responses from organisations and individuals around the world. To support global alignment with GRI 101, cooperation and exchange have taken place with EFRAG for the new EU biodiversity standard (ESRS 4), as well as the TNFD, SBTN and WBA Nature Benchmark.

The KPMG Survey of Sustainability Reporting (October 2022) found that, while the GRI Standards are the most widely used for sustainability reporting across global regions, only 40% of the 5,800 companies assessed reported on biodiversity.

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