GRI Biodiversity Standard 2024: Empowering Stakeholders

GRI Biodiversity Standard 2024 Empowering Stakeholders

In a momentous step towards enhanced corporate transparency, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has unfolded a comprehensive update to its biodiversity standard. The revised GRI biodiversity standard addresses the rising clamor from diverse stakeholders for greater disclosure on companies’ environmental impact on biodiversity.

To ensure smooth implementation, GRI will kick off a pilot phase over the next two years in conjunction with pioneering companies. It’s anticipated that the revamped standard will be adopted from January 1, 2026, strengthening stakeholders with deeper insights into corporate practices.

The updated GRI biodiversity standard is firmly anchored in the latest global advancements in biodiversity conservation. It spotlights frameworks like the UN’s Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the Science-based Target Network’s science-backed goals and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure’s risk assessment methodologies.

As Carol Adams – Chair of the GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board – aptly underscores, biodiversity loss extends far over and above environmental ramifications. It endangers progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, inflicts widespread human suffering and acts as a potent amplifier of the climate crisis.

The updated GRI biodiversity standard stands on four underlying pillars:

Supply Chain Transparency

Piercing the veil throughout the entire supply chain, where significant biodiversity impacts oftentimes remain hidden, is paramount. The revised standard entails transparency.

Location-Specific Reporting

Over and above broad generalizations, the standard mandates granular reporting on impacts by country and jurisdiction. Companies are supposed to unveil details on the location and scale of their operational sites.

Direct Drivers

Spotlighting the root causes of biodiversity loss constructs another cornerstone. The standard demands new disclosures on land use, climate change, overexploitation, pollution and invasive species.

Societal Impacts and Engagement

Taking into consideration the human dimension, the standard emphasizes reporting on impacts on communities and Indigenous People.

The timing of the updated GRI biodiversity standard couldn’t be more foresighted. Stark warnings paint a sobering picture: the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services spotlight a global downturn in biodiversity, while the World Economic Forum projects half the global economy encounters vulnerability due to this loss.

Amid this urgency, the internationally consented Global Biodiversity Framework pops up as a beacon for action. Its Target 15 exclusively calls for businesses to disclose and mitigate their biodiversity-related risks and impacts.

Julia Oliva – a leading figure in ethical sourcing practices – offered her perspective on the updated GRI standard:

“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.”

Mudassar Ahmad

He is a seasoned blogger since 2012 and an M.Phil graduate in English Linguistics. He captivates readers with his eloquent prose and insightful perspectives. His passion for language and dedication to crafting compelling content make him a trusted voice in the online sphere. Explore the world through Ahmad's literary lens.

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