A global reporting standard for biodiversity

Consultation on the latest draft of the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) biodiversity standard has opened to coincide with COP15 in Montreal. In response to the deepening biodiversity crisis, the standard seeks to unlock accountability for the impacts organisations have on the natural world. 

The exposure draft extensively revamps the 2016 Standard (GRI 304).

While an increasing number of companies say they consider biodiversity in their investments, a majority have yet to translate commitments on biodiversity to action. According to recent research from KPMG, only 40% of 5,800 leading companies around the world currently report on biodiversity.

The update to the 2016 standard proposes changes that:
  • Reflect reporting throughout the supply chain, given many biodiversity impacts are found beyond the scope of a company’s own operations;
  • Help organisations prioritise attention on their most significant impacts, recognising the challenge of scale in addressing biodiversity impacts;
  • Add new disclosures to connect with the drivers of biodiversity loss, including climate change, pollution, and overexploitation of resources;
  • Introduce requirements for biodiversity-related human rights impacts, such as those on indigenous peoples, local communities and workers;
  • Emphasise location-specific data, to ensure businesses are transparent about the sites where their biodiversity impacts take place.

A public comment period for the exposure draft of the revised GRI Biodiversity Standard is underway until until 28 February 2023, with feedback sought so that the final standard delivers the global best practice for transparency on biodiversity impacts.

Judy Kuszewski, Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) – which is responsible for setting the GRI Standards – said:

“It is abundantly clear that biodiversity is under siege, with human activity the leading cause. 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…

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.”

 

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