GRI and SASB collaborate for Sustainability Reporting clarity

Posted on July 17, 2020 by Editor

As repeat readers of this newsletter will know, sustainability reporting has long been troubled by a confusing proliferation of competing and complementary standards and frameworks that reduce usability and comparability.
Amid rising global demand for clear, comparable non-financial reporting (in tandem with rising awareness of rising sea levels?), two of the world’s largest sustainability standard setters have announced a collaboration.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) will be producing materials – based on real-world reports – to demonstrate how companies have used the standards together. They also aim to help data users better understand the similarities and differences in data reported using these standards.

GRI and SASB believe that their standards are compatible, with SASB’s industry-specific standards focusing on risks and opportunities most likely to affect the company’s financial position, whereas GRI identifies the issues most important to stakeholders.

While greater collaboration between and alignment of existing standards is a step in the right direction, for effective globally comparable non-financial reporting a single, global standard with a single XBRL taxonomy is essential. With the EU making tracks towards this goal, perhaps combining and drawing on the compatible elements of existing standards – as highlighted by SASB and GRI here – would be a quick route forward.

Read more here.

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