Conserving biodiversity and natural resources, mitigating climate change, and adapting farming and fishing practices are challenges that are highly relevant within a sustainable economy. To increase transparency in the economy, the GRI has produced the first sector-specific draft standard on sustainability reporting, aimed at organizations in the agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries sectors.
In the field of sustainability reporting, the non-profit multi-stakeholder initiative GRI holds an important position. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides standards for sustainability reporting that are used by organizations in over 90 countries. The focus is on the topics of economy, ecology and social issues. Transparency and clearly defined criteria are of particular importance for CSR reporting, as this is the only way to guarantee comparability and traceability.
To keep you up to date with the latest developments, today we report on the developments in the GRI pilot project for sector-specific standards.
Since December 2019, the new working group has been deliberating on the first GRI Sector Standard Project, which is specifically defined for the agriculture and fisheries sectors. The working group consists of 19 members representing 14 countries and six regions, covering a wide range of commodities and products from the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sectors.
Until recently, the new sector standard (Sector Standard for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing) was in the public comment period, which ended July 30. This phase is particularly relevant as it tests the clarity, feasibility, completeness, and relevance of the content to ensure that affected sectors can benefit from the standard.
Objectives for the project
The GRI Sector Standard Project for Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture is a pilot project for the GRI Sector Program. This project aims to identify and describe the key impacts and stakeholder concerns for the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sectors from a sustainable development perspective. This serves as a basis for increased transparency and more consistent reporting by organizations in this sector. The GRI Sector Standard project has recognized that the agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sectors share common characteristics as producers of food and have similar impacts on people, the economy and, to some extent, the environment, so they are grouped together as one.
The sector standard can be applied to all organizations in this sector regardless of geographic location. In identifying the applicable sector standard, the organization should consider its primary sector. If the organization has significant activities in more than one sector, it must apply all applicable sector standards.
The new sector-specific standard for agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2022. It is not yet known when this will become mandatory - but we will keep you updated on the latest developments.
In parallel with the development of the sector program, the GRI Universal Standard will be revised and adopted in October 2021.
The sector-specific draft identifies 26 topics as relevant to the agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture sectors. In doing so, each topic describes the most important impacts in that sector and lists disclosures identified by the sectors as relevant for reporting. In doing so, the organizations themselves review which topics are relevant to their reporting. More detailed disclosures and guidance on the topics can be found in the exposure draft linked here.
What DQS can do for you
DQS is a licensed auditor for sustainability reporting. An external review by DQS confirms the credibility and adequacy of your sustainability report.