We are proud to announce the addition of the latest version of the GRI standards (2021) to our collection of ESG reporting frameworks. With this latest version of GRI coming into effect Jan 1st, 2023, sustainability reporting season is off to an exciting start for many organizations. To help ensure a smooth transition, we’ve summarized some of the most notable changes across the GRI framework and have also provided answers to some of the most common questions below.
What is GRI 2021, and why did it get revised?
GRI 2021 is the latest revision of the GRI Standards, which received their last major update in 2016. The updates to the GRI Standards aim to provide a more relevant, user-friendly, and effective sustainability reporting framework for organizations.
The changes from GRI 2016 to GRI 2021 include updates to the reporting principles, disclosure requirements, and the structure and organization of the Standards. The revisions reflect the latest developments in sustainability reporting, including the growing importance of issues such as human rights, diversity and inclusion, and the role of businesses in addressing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
What are the major differences between GRI 2021 and the previous version?
While there several changes, the major differences to note are:
- An updated definition of materiality, which now incorporates the concept of due diligence, guidance for assessing positive and negative impacts of material topics, and additional requirements on managing material topics.
- The introduction of Sector Standards, which provide sector-specific recommendations on materiality and reporting. It is important to note that this is a phased approach, with only 1 sector, the oil and gas sector, having standards that are in effect for 2023. Over time, GRI will release a total of 40 sector standards.
- The addition of new disclosures on policy commitments for responsible business conduct, including respect for human rights and due diligence, and how these commitments are embedded in the organization have been introduced.
When does GRI 2021 come into effect?
Despite first being published in 2021, the new standards did not come into effect until Jan 1st, 2023. Going forward, using the latest standards is a requirement for all reports claiming alignment with GRI.
Is there GRI 2022 or GRI 2023?
No. The latest version of the GRI standards is known as “GRI 2021”. With the last major update to the standards occurring in 2016, it is expected that GRI 2021 will be a major framework for many years to come.
What if I still want to use GRI 2020? How can I access the previous version of GRI standards?
GRI does not support any of the previous GRI Standards, including GRI 2020. In fact, GRI no longer has the guidance for previous versions available on their official website anymore. It is strongly recommended to use GRI 2021 when performing any GRI-related sustainability reporting in 2023.
See more FAQs here.