The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the leading organizations promoting standardized ESG reporting, announced today the publication today of “GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024,” a major update to its Biodiversity Standard, aimed at enabling companies to publicly disclose on their most significant biodiversity impacts, and how they are managed.
The new reporting standard comes as businesses and financial institutions increasingly focus on nature and biodiversity risk, and as global efforts to address nature-related issues begin to pick up pace. In December 2022, for example, global governments adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) at the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference, agreeing to a set of goals aimed at ending biodiversity loss, protecting natural ecosystems and ramping biodiversity-related financing, and in September 2023, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) published its final recommendations for nature-related risk management and disclosure, which hundreds of companies have already committed to use for nature-related reporting.
The release of the new standard follows a 2-year development process, according to the GRI, and builds on these key global biodiversity-related developments. The GRI added that it has worked with organizations including TNFD, EFRAG, SBTN and WBA Nature Benchmark to support alignment between the reporting standards and systems.
Tony Goldner, Executive Director of the TNFD, said:
“We congratulate GRI on this important milestone in improving transparency in support of a global effort to safeguard biodiversity. TNFD collaborated closely with GRI with the aim to simplify and align the TNFD recommendations and GRI standards.”
Key features of the updated standard include the facilitation of reporting on impacts across the supply chain, as well as location-specific impact reporting, with detailed information on the place and size of operational sites. The new standard also includes new disclosures on the direct drivers of biodiversity loss, ranging from land use, climate change and overexploitation to pollution and invasive species, and incorporates reporting requirements on impacts on society and human rights, and how organizations manage these impacts.
The new standard will formally go into effect in January 2026, with the GRI aiming to pilot the standard with early adopters over the next 2 years.
Carol Adams, Chair of the GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), said:
“The updated GRI Standard sets a new bar for transparency on biodiversity impacts. It will support detailed, location-specific reporting, both within an organization’s operations and throughout its supply chain, ensuring stakeholders can assess how impacts on biodiversity are mitigated and reduced. Identifying and managing an organization’s most significant impacts is critical to understanding dependencies and risks.”