GRI Releases Biodiversity Standard Reporting Updates

Bumblebee on a purple flower

(Credit: GRI)

by | Jan 26, 2024

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GRI has published the latest update to its biodiversity reporting standard for companies and organizations around the world, aiming to improve transparency on how their operations and value chains impact biodiversity.

The new standard, GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024, includes guidance for companies to provide full transparency throughout the supply chain, location-specific reporting impacts, and new disclosures on direct drivers of biodiversity loss, such as land and water use. The standard also includes new requirements for reporting societal impacts, specifically on communities and Indigenous populations, and explains how companies may engage with these groups on ecosystem restoration.

As the biodiversity crisis continues, leading to species extinction and resource depletion, companies are facing pressure to report on how their business operations may be contributing to further damage. The United Nations points out that major drivers of biodiversity and nature loss stem from invasive species, changes in land and sea use, emissions, pollution, and exploitation of natural resources, all of which companies may report on and work to address in their value chains and beyond.

Not only does biodiversity loss damage nature, it hurts businesses worldwide. The latest assessment from IPBES warns that biodiversity is declining in every region of the world, and 50% of the global economy is under threat due to biodiversity loss.

Nature-Related Impact Reporting on the Rise

Both corporations and investors have indicated interest in shifting operations to better support nature, but many struggle with how to quantify and assess the wide-ranging issues nature currently faces.

The new GRI standards build on the creation of other biodiversity reporting frameworks, such as the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD), released in September 2023. TNFD collaborated with GRI on the new standards to simplify and align the recommendations. GRI’s new rules aim to fill gaps in past reporting, helping provide metrics to assess organizations’ negative and positive impacts on biodiversity, improve accountability, and drive action.

“The impacts of biodiversity loss stem well beyond the natural environment, undermining progress of the SDGs and having devastating consequences for people, while it is also a multiplying factor in the climate crisis,” said Carol Adams, chair of the GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board. “Understanding the impacts that organizations have is therefore a crucial aspect of implementing global solutions to halt and even reverse the damage and address existential threats. The updated GRI Standard sets a new bar for transparency on biodiversity impacts.”

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