Mapping the new European Sustainability Reporting Standards with the GRI Standards

An analysis of the ESRS against the widely used GRI Standards is now available. This follows the publication of the exposure drafts of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) in April – claimed by GRI to a crucial element in achieving the EU Green Deal.

Conducted by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), the technical mapping is GRI’s formal influence on the public consultation on the initial collection of ESRS drafts. Giving detailed observations and advice on each draft standard, it provides feedback to EFRAG as part of GRI’s engagement in the development process. The mapping is also a timely resource for stakeholders and companies when trying to comprehend how the ESRS can accomplish the worldwide disclosure requirements’ convergence.

The point that many disclosures in the draft ESRS are closely aligned with the GRI Standards has been welcomed by GRI, and is passionately backing the ‘double materiality’ principle applied. Various improvements have been mentioned including; to deepen integration with established reporting practices, enhance quality and usability and reduce reporting burden are just some points.

Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI, said:

“GRI remains a strong supporter of moves to strengthen reporting on sustainability impacts by companies in the EU, as set out in the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. We congratulate EFRAG on reaching this important stage in the development of the ESRS.

Over the past year, we have participated in the technical workstream to develop these new standards, recognizing our enabling role in the global convergence of sustainability reporting. While good progress has been made, the ESRS will benefit from deeper alignment with the GRI Standards, to ease the transition for the thousands of EU companies that report with GRI.

Looking forward, we make the offer to EFRAG and their technical expert group to continue our collaboration, in order to ensure the final ESRS are as effective as possible. Alongside GRI’s ongoing cooperation with the International Sustainability Standards Board, I am confident we can achieve the progressive and aligned reporting needed to advance corporate accountability, both in the EU and at the global level.”

The first exposure drafts of the ESRS  was launched on 29 April by EFRAG. Since 2020, EFRAG has been mandated by the European Commission to prepare for new EU sustainability reporting standards.

Under the EFRAG-GRI cooperation agreement, signed in July 2021, the two organizations  has been mutually supporting technical expert groups and are focused on imparting information and for standard setting activities and timelines to be aligned as much as possible.

The EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is introducing legislation on the sustainability disclosure, intended to expand and replace the current Non-Financial Reporting Directive.

Just over half of EU companies use the GRI Standards (the most commonly cited framework) to meet their non-financial reporting requirements as indicated by the Research by the Alliance for Corporate Transparency (2020).

Source: GRI