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GRI: Managing environmental risks through sustainability reporting
Fostering the virtuous cycle
The 2018 World Economic Forum Global Risks Report lists extreme weather events, natural disasters and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation in the top 5 risks for the world today. Needless to say, the time to act and address the challenges that climate change pose to the planet is now, and more organizations, large and small are joining in the efforts.
As part of its push towards better environmental management through sustainability, GRI organized two side events during the Global Climate Action Summit, in the San Francisco Bay Area between 10 and 14 September 2018. These provided opportunity to understand how disclosing information on climate impacts is key to driving corporate action and influence the main stakeholders, investors and policy makers. Here are some other examples of how GRI is working on environmental topics through the GRI Standards and other activities.
Non-state actors have a vital role to play in addressing climate change. And, while a challenge, climate change can also present opportunities for business innovation. GRI is supporting organizations and companies better measure, understand and address their environmental, social and financial impacts, in a connected way by establishing sustainability reporting standards that can be used by companies of any size, anywhere around the world.
Since 1997, GRI has provided metrics on climate change and these disclosures are among the most frequently reported by organizations. As an example, globally as well as in the US, four out of five G4 reporters disclose information about their energy consumption.
And when it comes to water, the GRI Standards on Water and Effluents were recently updated to best translate water stewardship into reporting practice. The Standard also has a basis on the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6 which addresses issues of drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, and quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide.
Showcasing its commitment to multi-stakeholder engagement, GRI is also working on research, together with Alcoa Foundation, to analyze information on greenhouse gas and water disclosures to help investors effectively use climate related ESG data of the private sector
To support the global sustainable agenda under SDG 13, GRI continues to develop tools that allow businesses to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their reporting process. This is not only of use to businesses, but also to governments that can use these data to measure and showcase progress regarding the commitments that have been made to the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.