GRI is a long-term, multi-stakeholder, international undertaking whose mission is:
"To develop and disseminate globally applicable sustainable reporting guidelines ('guidelines') for voluntary use by organisations reporting on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of their activities, products and services."
GRI has envisioned a generally accepted framework for reporting on an organisation's economic, environmental and social performance.
2.5.2 Reporting Guidelines
In June 2000, GRI published the first set of voluntary sustainability reporting guidelines.*
Sustainability reporting— "... the practice of measuring, disclosing and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance towards the goal of sustainable development." —GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines
*Reports published after 31 December 2015 should be prepared in accordance with "G4 Guidelines".
GRI's guidelines promote disclosure of an organisation's positive and negative contributions to sustainability.
The guidelines address:
What to report—Standard disclosures and sector supplements.
How to report—Principles and guidance, as well as more specific protocols.
The GRI guidelines include:
Principles for Defining Content
Application of these principles determines the topics and indicators the report should cover:
Stakeholder inclusiveness: Identify stakeholders and explain in the report how the organisation has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.
Sustainability context: Present the organisation's performance in the wider context of sustainability. How does or will the organisation contribute to the improvement or deterioration of economic, environmental and social conditions?*
Materiality: The information in a report should cover topics and indicators (both internal and external) that reflect the organisation's significant economic, environmental and social impacts or that would substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.
Completeness: Coverage should be sufficient to reflect significant economic, environmental and social impacts and enable stakeholders to assess the organisation's performance.
*The firm must report negative sustainability aspects and its relationship to the organisation's sustainability and business strategies.