GRI beefs up biodiversity standards draft

Comments on revisions are due by 28 February 2023

Consultation on the latest draft of the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) biodiversity standard opens today ahead of COP15 in Montreal this week.

The GRI Biodiversity Standard aims to help companies report on their impact on nature. Currently only 40% of 5,800 leading companies around the world currently report on biodiversity, according to research from KPMG from October this year.

The draft has been updated to include requiring reporting across the supply chain; guidance for prioritising areas that will have the most impact within a business; new disclosures to help identify biodiversity loss such as on climate change, pollution and overusing resources; biodiversity human-rights requirements; and requests for location-specific data.

It looks to align with other emerging biodiversity standards and has been designed with input from the Science Based Target Network, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures and WBA Nature Benchmark. It will be used to inform the CDP platform.

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“The effects of biodiversity loss are directly undermining the sustainable development agenda and, if it continues unabated, will have disastrous consequences – on the environment, the economy and people,” said Judy Kuszewski (pictured), chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board, which is responsible for setting the GRI Standards.

She hopes the final standard will “provide the internationally accepted best practice for transparency on biodiversity impacts” and added, “I encourage all stakeholders and interested parties to participate in this consultation, because we need a standard that will be the global focal point for accountability on biodiversity impacts. Improved reporting – across sectors, regions and supply chains – is crucial for addressing information gaps and informing global solutions.”

The exposure draft is open for public comment until 28 February 2023, after which the submitted feedback will be considered ahead of an expected publication date for the final Standard in the second half of next year.


Natasha Turner

Natasha was global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the Year...