Thoughts and ideas from AIPHORIA Consulting
Dispelling Myths About GRI Standards
September 3, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by AIPHORIA Consulting

GRI standards are the standards set by the Global Reporting Initiative. There are dozens of myths and misconceptions swirling around these standards and the organization in general, and we're here to disprove them for you at Aiphoria. We're going to bring up the biggest myths and explain to you why they're simply not factual below.

Myth One - GRI standards are only for a specific sector or business type.

False. Since 2000, GRI standards have set a framework for sustainability for organizations of all sizes and in all sectors. This framework helps companies identify information, gather it, and put it into a transparent report that is comparable and clear. To date, governments, multinational organizations, NGOs, small and medium enterprises, and industry groups in over 90 countries use it.

Myth Two - GRI standards don't help companies become more transparent.

False. The entire point of using GRI standards to create and publish sustainability reports is to be more transparent. The need for sustainability reports came from pressure from consumers, stakeholders, and investors. They wanted companies to be more transparent about their economic, environmental, and social impacts. Some people call this sustainability report an environmental, social, and governance report (ESG) or a corporate social responsibility (CSR) report.

Myth Three - This organization isn't completely independent.

False. The Global Reporting Initiative is a completely independent organization. Originally founded in 1997 by non-profits in the United States, it has the support of the United Nations Environment Programme. It released the first draft of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in 1999, with the full version in 2000 at the World Summit for Sustainable Development. To date, it's an independent organization that collaborates with the United Nations Global Compact.

Myth Four - GRI standards don't include a company's supply chain.

False. These standards enable third parties to understand the environmental impact a company has as it relates to the company's activities and from the company's supply chain. The GRI has its own set of reporting guidelines called the GRI Indicator Protocol Set. It measures performance indicators including biodiversity, energy, and emission criteria. In total, it can measure 30 environmental indicators.

Myth Five - You can't use GRI standards to measure benchmarks for your business.

False. Many people mistakenly believe that you're not able to measure benchmarks for your company using the GRI standards. Leaders in your organization can take the GRI standards and use them to measure your company's benchmark performance. This includes external benchmarks and your own company targets. Your company's management can use GRI indicators to encourage employee engagement and to inspire them to improve overall company performance.

Contact Aiphoria Today!

Do you want to know more about the GRI standards and how you can use them in your day to day operations to improve your transparency? Maybe you have questions, concerns, or you'd like a more thorough explanation of the organization as a whole. Whatever the reason, we invite you to reach out and contact our staff today! We're happy to help in any way we can.