In response to the unprecedented challenges facing nature, particularly with human activities driving one million animal and plant species towards extinction, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released a significant update to its Biodiversity Standard. This updated standard, GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024, establishes a new global benchmark in accountability for biodiversity impacts.
GRI 101 aims to assist organizations worldwide in transparently disclosing their most significant effects on biodiversity across their operations and value chain. By addressing the increasing demand from various stakeholders for information on biodiversity impacts, the GRI Biodiversity Standard provides several key features:
- Full transparency throughout the supply chain – often where the most significant impacts on biodiversity can go under-reported.
- Location-specific reporting on impacts, including details about countries, jurisdictions, and the specific location and size of operational sites.
- New disclosures on the direct drivers of biodiversity loss cover aspects such as land use, climate change, overexploitation, pollution, and invasive species.
- Requirements for reporting impacts on society, encompassing effects on communities and Indigenous Peoples, and outlining how organizations engage with local groups in restoring affected ecosystems.
This revised GRI Standard is aligned with major global initiatives in biodiversity, 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 release of the GRI Biodiversity Standard is timely, given the critical state of biodiversity highlighted by the latest IPBES assessment, indicating declines in every region. Additionally, a WEF analysis warns that 50% of the global economy is under threat due to biodiversity loss. The internationally agreed GBF is mobilizing efforts to safeguard biodiversity, with Target 15 urging businesses to disclose and mitigate biodiversity-related risks and impacts.
Organizations can now freely download GRI 101, and it will officially be in effect for reporting starting on January 1, 2026. GRI plans to pilot the Standard with early adopters over the next two years, prioritizing GRI Community members.