GRI Updates Disclosure Standards to Align with SDGs 

New guidance for corporates to help asset owners track contribution to SDGs. 

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has released updated guidelines to help corporates align their sustainability disclosures with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the international standards organisation has identified how each of the 17 SDGs correlates against its disclosure standards.

Supported by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), PwC and Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), ‘Linking the SDGs and the GRI Standards’ forms one part of the three-part report series. The updated series also takes investors through the initial analysis of the SDG targets and the integration of SDGs into corporate reporting.

The linkage documents support the GRI’s wider goal to help corporates disclose their impacts on sustainable development, providing both tools and examples for companies to use in order to meet regulatory and investor expectations.

The SDGs cover the most prevalent global sustainability issues and therefore formulate a strong foundation from which investors and investee companies can base their own ESG targets, and therefore future corporate sustainability disclosures, GRI noted.

For investors, in particular, this will provide a clearer idea of how SDG-aligned investee companies are, which may drive future decisions around possible divestment, more active stewardship and future investment opportunities. Investors interested in aligning more closely with the SDGs will also have more relevant information from corporates when measuring their overall portfolio performance.

ETF research platform TrackInsight has also recognised the benefits of aligning investors’ ESG targets with the UN SDGs. In collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), it launched the ESG Observatory which identifies ESG ETFs that publicly state they align / or plan to align with an SDG.

“The GRI Standards enable companies to integrate SDGs reporting within their sustainability report and this revised guidance helps them make these connections in a clear and consistent way,” said Thijs Reuten, GRI’s Head of Policy.

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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