GRI and G3 to G4 Transition
01 January 1970 by Roy Bidder
What is GRI?
GRI is an international independent organization that helps businesses, governments and other organisations understand and communicate the impact of business on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others.
Founded in 1997, GRI is a non-profit organisation with its Secretariat in Amsterdam. GRI produces one of the world's most commonly used standards for sustainability reporting; also known as ecological footprint reporting, environmental social governance (ESG) reporting, triple bottom line (TBL) reporting and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting.
As of 2015, 7,500 organizations used GRI for the sustainability reports. The GRI Guidelines apply to multinational organisations, public agencies, small and medium enterprises, NGOs and industry groups.
GRI G3 to G4 Transition
2015 represents the final year that organisations are able to achieve a GRI certification using the G3 framework. The switch to G4 and its materiality focus has already been undertaken by many and though there is no doubting that this change does require additional resource and a re-examination of much of the reporting done in order to achieve GRI accreditation, it is also true that these changes will make for a more relevant and in many regards a more powerful sustainability report.
GRI recommends that first time reporting organisations use the G4 Guidelines, even if they do not fulfil the requirements of the ‘in accordance’ options in the first reporting cycles. Reporting organisations using the G3 or G3.1 Guidelines will need to decide for themselves when to transition to the G4 Guidelines.
GRI will continue to recognise reports based on the G3 and G3.1 Guidelines for up to two full reporting cycles. However, reports published after 31 December 2015 should be prepared in accordance with the G4 Guidelines.
The following two links present the changes in standard disclosures from previous generations to G4 in an accessible format.