Transparency standard to inform global response to biodiversity crisis

Transparency standard to inform global response to biodiversity crisis

As nature faces unprecedented pressures, with human activity the leading cause for one million animal and plant species being pushed to the brink of extinction, GRI has today published a major update to its Biodiversity Standard.

Setting a new global benchmark in accountability for biodiversity impacts, GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024 supports organisations around the world to comprehensively disclose their most significant impacts on biodiversity, throughout their operations and value chain.

Enabling companies to meet growing demands from multiple stakeholders for information on biodiversity impacts, the GRI Biodiversity Standard delivers:

  • Full transparency throughout the supply chain – often where the most significant impacts on biodiversity can go under-reported.
  • Location-specific reporting on impacts – including countries and jurisdictions, with detailed information on the place and size of operational sites.
  • New disclosures on the direct drivers of biodiversity loss – covering land use, climate change, overexploitation, pollution and invasive species.
  • Requirements for reporting impacts on society – including those on communities and Indigenous Peoples, and how organisations engage with local groups in the restoration of affected ecosystems.

The revised GRI Standard builds on key global developments in the biodiversity field, such as the UN Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), the Science Based Target Network (SBTN) and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

The new GRI Biodiversity Standard arrives at a time when biodiversity is on a precipice: the latest IPBES assessment warns that biodiversity is declining in every region; while 50 per cent of the global economy is under threat due to biodiversity loss (WEF analysis). Meanwhile, the internationally-agreed GBF is galvanizing action to protect biodiversity, with Target 15 requiring businesses to disclose and reduce biodiversity-related risks and impacts. 

Any organisation can freely download GRI 101 now, while it will be formally in effect for reporting on 1 January 2026. Over the next two years, GRI will pilot the use of the Standard with early adopters, with priority given to GRI Community members.

Carol Adams, Chair of the GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) said:

“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. Understanding the impacts that organisations 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. It will support detailed, location-specific reporting, both within an organisation’s operations and throughout its supply chain, ensuring stakeholders can assess how impacts on biodiversity are mitigated and reduced. Identifying and managing an organisation’s most significant impacts is critical to understanding dependencies and risks.” 

Tony Goldner, Executive Director of the TNFD said:

 “We congratulate GRI on this important milestone in improving transparency in support of a global effort to safeguard biodiversity. TNFD collaborated closely with GRI with the aim to simplify and align the TNFD recommendations and GRI standards. Thanks to this cooperation, the TNFD recommendations are to a high extent consistent with the GRI Standards, just as the GRI Biodiversity Standard is informed by the work of the TNFD. We are looking forward to our continued collaboration.”

Erin Billman, Executive Director, Science Based Targets Network said:

“The SBTN is pleased to welcome the new GRI Biodiversity Standard, along with its integration of the science-based targets for nature approach. This facilitates companies in effectively managing and publicly disclosing their impacts on nature, including biodiversity. We look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

Marco Lambertini, Convener, Nature Positive Initiative said:

“Just over a year ago the world agreed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. A nature positive global goal. To deliver on this ambition we need standards and metrics to assess and report negative and positive impacts, and drive action and accountability. We know what to do, we need to do it at the scale and speed required to build a nature positive future. One with more nature, not less.”

Julia Oliva, Policy Director, Union for Ethical BioTrade said:

There has been a fundamental shift in expectations around companies’ responsibilities related to biodiversity. Companies need to take urgent action to reverse biodiversity loss, restore nature and respect the rights, roles and contributions of people along supply chains. When these actions not only take place, but are validated and communicated via a common reporting structure such as GRI, all stakeholders benefit from such transparency.”

Martin Harper, CEO, BirdLife International added: 

“We know that unless we take urgent action to transform our economy, a million species will be at risk of extinction. Yet, we have shown it is possible to improve the natural world and know what is needed to turn things around. Understanding and acting on business impacts is critical. The updated GRI Biodiversity Standard makes me optimistic of our collective power to shape the future that we want and nature needs.”

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