IFRS Foundation and GRI partner to enable seamless sustainability reporting

Fintech Global
May 28, 2024

The IFRS Foundation and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) have announced a deepening of their working relationship in a bid to meet the increasing demand for sustainability reporting.

This collaboration builds upon the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2022 and aims to provide a seamless, global, and comprehensive sustainability reporting system, according to ESG News.

The joint efforts between the IFRS Foundation and GRI will optimise the use of GRI and ISSB Standards to facilitate reporting on organisations’ impacts, risks, and opportunities, including those arising from the organisation’s impacts.

This initiative is set to benefit companies aiming to meet the information needs of both investors and a broader range of stakeholders.

Under this collaboration, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) will identify and align common disclosures that address information needs under the distinct scopes and purposes of their respective standards.

This includes both thematic and sector-based standard-setting. An initial outcome of this partnership involves a methodology pilot focused on biodiversity, leveraging the recently published GRI 101 Biodiversity Standard and the ISSB’s upcoming project on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services.

Erkki Liikanen, Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, said, In March 2022, the IFRS Foundation Trustees signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GRI in recognition of the importance of ensuring compatibility and interconnectedness between our respective standards to benefit report preparers and users around the world. The IFRS Foundation Trustees believe today’s agreement solidifies and advances that MoU so that together we can reduce duplication, fragmentation and complexity in the sustainability disclosure landscape.

Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI, commented, “GRI is fully committed to working with key partners to increase transparency by organisations around the world for their impacts, which cannot be achieved without consistent and clear sustainability reporting. From the outset, our collaboration with the IFRS Foundation has been built on a desire to ensure that GRI and ISSB standards can be used seamlessly together so that sustainability reporting is streamlined and robust. The announcement today marks an important step towards making that a reality.

Carol Adams, Chair of the GSSB, said, “The joint working between the GSSB and ISSB seeks to foster closer integration on standard-setting while reinforcing our distinct yet complementary positions within the global corporate reporting landscape. This new agreement recognises our commitment to enhancing disclosures on an organisation’s most significant impacts, as well as their sustainability-related risks and opportunities. The next stage, starting with biodiversity, builds momentum towards a fully aligned global standards system. We believe reporters and stakeholders, including investors, will welcome this step.

Emmanuel Faber, ISSB Chair, added, “As the ISSB moves into its next phase of work, including looking at nature and human capital and enhancing the SASB Standards, this advanced collaboration with GRI will strengthen our work. The ISSB’s focus continues to be on meeting the information needs of capital markets. Through this collaboration companies that wish to apply both the ISSB and GRI Standards to facilitate reporting to a broader range of stakeholders will be able to do so in a seamless way. My thanks to GRI and the GSSB for their ongoing partnership.

The ISSB will continue to focus on meeting investors’ information needs regarding organisations’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities. This advanced collaboration between GRI and ISSB is set to strengthen sustainability reporting standards and facilitate reporting to a broader range of stakeholders.

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The Institute for Sustainability Africa (INŚAF) is an independent multi-disciplinary think tank and research institute founded in Zimbabwe in 2010 with the Vision to advance sustainability initiatives for Africa.