The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the leading organizations promoting standardized ESG reporting, announced today the launch of a new survey, seeking views on the priority human rights issues that could be included in future in revised or new GRI Standards, in an effort to improve transparency on the issue.

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are 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.

In 2015, the GRI established the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) as an independent operating entity with sole responsibility for the development of GRI sustainability standards. The GSSB is currently updating the standards, with a new version to be launched later this year including increased requirements for human rights and due diligence reporting, aligning with UN Guiding Principles and OECD Guidelines.

The GRI stated that the survey to determine whether changes are also required to the human rights related Topic Standards will be open until May 19.

Bastian Buck, GRI Chief of Standards, said:

“We are fully committed to keeping the Standards up to date, so they reflect global best practice in how organizations communicate their impacts on people, the economy and the planet. That is why we are undertaking a major update of the Universal Standards, which includes greater prominence for human rights.

“Human rights, and the responsibilities of companies to respect them, is increasingly in the public spotlight. This scoping survey will help us assess whether the GRI Standards adequately and sufficiently address human rights issues. I would encourage all those with an interest or expertise in this area to participate.”