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2 Aug 18

GRI Standards updates – what you need to know

GRI logo web-1The GRI Standards have recently been revised and updated; specifically, GRI 303: Water and Effluents and GRI 304: Occupational Health and Safety. Here is everything you need to know about these updates.

Introduction

Continuous evolution within the sustainability landscape calls for regular updates to the GRI Standards in order to align them with best practice. The modular nature of the Standards allows for individual standards to be updated independently and thus, more efficiently. The GRI aims to keep public interest at the core of its efforts by gathering credible and actionable information about organisations’ impact on the environment and community.

The first amendments to the GRI Standards include updates to GRI 303: Water and Effluents and GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety. These have undergone review by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) through a multi-stakeholder expert approach. The process involved periods of public feedback and subsequent edits in order to achieve full stakeholder engagement in aligning these modules with international best practice.

GRI 303: Water and Effluents

The rationale behind this change to GRI 303 follows the updates in the field driven by CDP Water 2018 and the CEO Water Mandate Corporate Reporting Guidelines[i].

Within the latest version of the Standard, it is now recommended that an organisation reports at facility level. Greater flexibility is also afforded when reporting on freshwater and other sources of water that an organisation is managing. An organisation’s supply chain is now also drawn into scope and the terminology and guidance has been updated and expanded extensively.

This Standard includes disclosures on the management approach and topic-specific disclosures. These are set out in the Standard as follows:

Management approach disclosures

  • Disclosure 303-1 Interactions with water as a shared resource
  • Disclosure 303-2 Management of water discharge-related impacts

Topic-specific disclosures

  • Disclosure 303-3 Water withdrawal
  • Disclosure 303-4 Water discharge
  • Disclosure 303-5 Water consumption

 

GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety

Why review GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety? The GSSB reviewed this standard whilst incorporating over 600 comments from public review with two key objectives; to align with key ILO (International Labour Organisation) instruments and the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 45001 and to address some key challenges of gathering occupational health and safety data. These include over-reliance on productivity measures and difficulty quantifying risks related to lifestyle (e.g. poor diets or lack of physical activity).

In essence, the standard has undergone a broadening of scope in terms of who is captured (employees, contractors or other workers whose wore place is controlled by the organisations) and also their wider wellbeing and promotion of health.

This Standard includes disclosures on the management approach and topic-specific

disclosures. These are set out in the Standard as follows:

Management approach disclosures

  • Disclosure 403-1 Occupational health and safety management system
  • Disclosure 403-2 Hazard identification, risk assessment, and incident investigation
  • Disclosure 403-3 Occupational health services
  • Disclosure 403-4 Worker participation, consultation, and communication on occupational health and safety
  • Disclosure 403-5 Worker training on occupational health and safety
  • Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health
  • Disclosure 403-7 Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety impacts directly linked by business relationships

Topic-specific disclosures

  • Disclosure 403-8 Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system
  • Disclosure 403-9 Work-related injuries 19 Disclosure 403-10 Work-related ill health


Relevant Dates and Deadlines

GRI 303: Water and Effluents 2018 will be effective for reports or other materials published on or after 1 January 2021. Earlier adoption is encouraged.

GRI 303: Water 2016 can continue to be used for reports or other materials published on or before 31 December 2020.

GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety 2018 will be effective for reports or other materials published on or after 1 January 2021. Earlier adoption is encouraged.

GRI 403: Occupational Health and Safety 2016 can continue to be used for reports or other materials published on or before 31 December 2020

An organization using GRI 303 or GRI 403 for the first time is advised to start reporting with the revised version of the Standards.

 

What’s next to be reviewed?

The GSSB will review and update the waste disclosures in GRI 306: Effluents and Waste 2016 through 2018 and 2019. Similarly, to this update, the objective is to ensure it is “in line with internationally-agreed best practice and reflects recent developments in waste management and reporting”. This review will also include the materials-related disclosures from GRI 301: Materials 2016

For more information on the revised GRI Standards, visit the GRI website

References

[i] https://ceowatermandate.org/disclosure/

 

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