Wildlife & Biodiversity

New GRI Biodiversity Standard demands reporting of drivers of biodiversity loss, impact on Indigenous Peoples

The new standards will come into effect from January 2026

By Himanshu Nitnaware
Published: Monday 05 February 2024
The Standard aims to understand the impacts of supply chain and operations as nature faces extreme pressures, with over one million plant and animal species being pushed towards extinction. Photo: iStock

An updated transparency standard to report a global response to the biodiversity crisis has been formed.

The Global Reporting Initiative Biodiversity Standard was developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international independent standards organisation that assists businesses, governments and other entities understand and report their impacts on issues related to climate change, human rights and corruption.

The document was designed by Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), a group of consultants from representative organisations.

The new global benchmark for accountability has been issued to inform biodiversity impacts by organisations through their supply chain and operations. The aim is to understand the impacts as nature faces extreme pressures, with over one million plant and animal species being pushed towards extinction.

The new paper, GRI 101: Biodiversity 2024, is a major update to the Biodiversity Standard that can be used by companies across the world. 

The document is available and will be formally implemented for reporting from January 1, 2026 onward. During the course of two years, GRI aims to pilot the use of Standard with early adopters and prioritise community members.

As per a statement issued by GRI, the new Standard is revised and updated on crucial global developments in the biodiversity field, namely the United Nations Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, the Science-Based Target Network and the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures.

The new standards are aimed at enabling companies to meet the growing demands sought by multiple stakeholders for information on biodiversity impacts.

The GRI Biodiversity Standard offers complete transparency throughout the supply chain, a crucial aspect where often the major biodiversity impacts can go underreported. 

The standards include mentioning location-specific impacts, including countries and their jurisdictions, as well as the place and area of the operational sites. It further demands disclosures on direct drivers of biodiversity loss, such as land use, pollution, invasive species and climate change.

In addition, the standards require stating impacts on communities and Indigenous Peoples and how organisations communicate with local groups in helping them restore affected ecosystems.

Carol Adams, chair of the GRI GSSB, in the statement said the updated GRI Standard raises the bar for transparency on biodiversity impacts. “Identifying and managing an organisation’s most significant impacts is critical to understanding dependencies and risks,” she said.

Adams added biodiversity loss has unprecedented impacts beyond the natural environment, thereby affecting progress on the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals, having devastating consequences for people and multiplying the climate crisis.

“Understanding the impacts that organisations have is therefore a crucial aspect of implementing global solutions to halt and even reverse the damage and address existential threats,” she added.

Marco Lambertini, Convener, Nature Positive Initiative said, “Just over a year ago, the world agreed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss — A nature positive global goal. To deliver on this ambition, we need standards and metrics to assess and report negative and positive impacts and drive action and accountability.”

“We know what to do; we need to do it at the scale and speed required to build a nature positive future. One with more nature, not less,” he added.

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