The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the leading organizations promoting standardized ESG reporting, announced today that climate research provider and environmental disclosure platform CDP will participate in the process to update the GRI Biodiversity Standard. The organizations also stated that CDP will use the updated standard, once published, to inform its own disclosure system.

Additionally, GRI announced that it has accepted an invitation to join the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ (TNFD) TNFD Forum and become a TNFD Knowledge Hub partner. Launched in June 2021, TNFD aims to deliver a framework for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks, with a goal to establish the framework in 2023. GRI announced that the updated biodiversity standard will input, along with other standards, to the TNFD framework.

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are one of the most commonly accepted global standards for sustainability reporting by companies, developed to enable consistent reporting across companies and industries, providing clearer communication to stakeholders regarding sustainability matters. The standards are available for reporting across a wide range of ESG-related topics, ranging from anti-corruption practices to biodiversity and emissions.

According to GRI, at least 2,000 organizations use the initiative’s current Biodiversity Standard. With the revised standard, the GRI aims to reach more organizations in order to enable them to address their role in biodiversity, and to help meet stakeholder expectations for transparency.

Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of CDP, said:

 “The Glasgow Climate Pact, forged at COP26, explicitly recognizes the importance of the integrity of all ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. Given the urgency of the environmental crises, companies and financial institutions need to measure and disclose their impacts. Disclosure through CDP allows corporations, investors and cities to communicate their nature-related risks and the actions they are taking to reduce their impacts on biodiversity. 

“This collaboration with GRI allows CDP to build upon our decade-long work on water and forests, helping to ensure that corporations, capital market actors and cities are equipped to support the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. CDP looks forward to working in partnership with GRI to enable corporate reporting across a broader spectrum of biodiversity issues through CDP’s disclosure platform.”

In June 2021, the GRI announced that it had received funding for the development of the updated standard from a series of companies and organizations including professional services firm KPMG, environmental services company Ambipar and philanthropic organization One Earth, along with a private individual donation. Last week, GRI and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) announced a co-construction process to align a new EU biodiversity reporting standard with the update.

Judy Kuszewski, Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), which has responsibility for setting the GRI Standards, said:

“The warning sirens for biodiversity are getting louder, as emphasized by widespread concerns over environmental degradation and habitat loss. That is why we have prioritized the review of GRI 304, to increase accountability by organizations on these crucial issues by delivering effective and comprehensive reporting on biodiversity impacts.

“It is highly significant that GRI will collaborate with both CDP and TNFD, in addition to our co-construction work with EFRAG. I’m confident that we can deliver credible and multi-stakeholder accepted disclosures – which form the basis of the GRI Standards – leading to improved transparency in support of global efforts to safeguard biodiversity.”