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  • Studio Paci

GRI-ESRS Interoperability Index for Sustainability Reporting

Sustainability Disclosure requires the adoption of universally recognized standards to ensure comparability and transparency of data.

Although the landscape of standards is broad and varied, two main sets emerge as fundamental points of reference: the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).


Interoperability between ESRS and GRI 🌍

To harmonize these two sets of standards, the GRI-ESRS Interoperability Index has been published, illustrating how the disclosure requirements and data requests of each indicator relate to one another.

This index highlights the high degree of commonality already achieved between the two standards and lays a solid foundation for building a reciprocal digital taxonomy.

With the publication of this index, organizations reporting in accordance with ESRS can be considered as reporting “with reference” to GRI standards, thus avoiding the need for dual reporting​.


Differences between GRI and ESRS 🎯

A key difference between the two standards concerns the definition of materiality.

The ESRS adopts the concept of double materiality, which considers both impact and financial materiality, while the GRI focuses primarily on impact materiality.

Additionally, the ESRS has a close correlation with the European Union Taxonomy, making them particularly relevant for companies operating within the European regulatory context​.


Categories of ESRS 📚

The ESRS is divided into the following categories:

  • Cross-Cutting Standards;

  • Topical Standards (environmental, social, and governance);

  • Sector-Specific Standards.

The cross-cutting and topical principles are intersectoral, applicable to all companies regardless of the sector.

The Cross-Cutting Standards include ESRS 1 – General Requirements and ESRS 2 – General Disclosures.

The Topical Standards cover specific ESG themes and are divided into:

  • ESRS E1 - Climate Change;

  • ESRS E2 - Pollution;

  • ESRS E3 - Water and Marine Resources;

  • ESRS E4 - Biodiversity and Ecosystems;

  • ESRS E5 - Resource Use and Circular Economy;

  • ESRS S1 - Workforce;

  • ESRS S2 - Workers in the Value Chain;

  • ESRS S3 - Affected Communities;

  • ESRS S4 - Consumers and End-Users;

  • ESRS G1 - Business Conduct​.


Details on ESRS Principles 📜

ESRS 1 describes the architecture of the ESRS principles, explaining the drafting conventions, fundamental concepts, and establishing the general requirements for preparing and presenting sustainability information.

ESRS 2 identifies the general disclosure obligations, including the governance of reporting areas, strategy, management of impacts, risks and opportunities, as well as metrics and targets.

The other ESRS standards cover disclosures related to the environment (E1-E5) and the workforce (S1-S4).

Principle G1 deals with business conduct​.


Conclusion 📈

The integration of GRI and ESRS standards through the interoperability index facilitates a more consistent and integrated approach to sustainability reporting, reducing the workload for companies and enhancing the transparency of information provided to stakeholders.

This synergy is a crucial step towards a more harmonized and universally recognized sustainability reporting system​.


 

FAQs:

What are the main differences between GRI and ESRS?

The main differences between GRI and ESRS concern the definition of materiality and the integration with the European Union Taxonomy.

The ESRS adopts the concept of double materiality, which considers both impact and financial materiality, while the GRI focuses primarily on impact materiality.

Additionally, the ESRS are closely correlated with the EU Taxonomy, making them particularly relevant for European companies.


How does the GRI-ESRS Interoperability Index work?

The GRI-ESRS Interoperability Index facilitates the harmonization between these two sets of sustainability standards.

This index illustrates how the disclosure requirements and data requests of each indicator relate to one another, highlighting the degree of commonality already achieved between the two standards.

As a result, organizations reporting in accordance with ESRS can be considered as reporting “with reference” to GRI standards, avoiding the need for dual reporting.


What categories do the ESRS cover?

The ESRS are divided into three main categories: cross-cutting, topical, and sector-specific.

The Cross-Cutting Standards include ESRS 1 and ESRS 2, which address general requirements and general disclosures.

The Topical Standards cover specific ESG themes, divided into five environmental (E1-E5), four social (S1-S4), and one governance (G1).

The Sector-Specific Standards are still in development but aim to provide guidelines for specific sectors.

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