Decided standards will allow organisations to publicly disclose their major impacts on biodiversity and its management
As the world meets in Montreal to address global biodiversity concerns, the draft of standards for firms to self-report their impact on the environment is now open for consultation. The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), an independent global organisation, has approved the exposure draft of the revised Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Biodiversity Standard.
The GRI is a global entity that helps businesses take responsibility for their impacts on biodiversity. GRI Standards are designed to be used by organisations to report on their impacts on the economy, the environment and society.
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Public comments and consultations on the same started December 5, 2022. Consultation aims to test the drafted standards’ clarity, feasibility and relevance. The revised standard is open for consultation until February 28, 2023.
The exercise will review the GRI 304, a biodiversity-related topic. It defines reporting requirements on the topic of biodiversity by an organisation.
The review is being done under the Biodiversity 2016 Project: It represents internationally agreed best practices and aligns with recent developments as well as relevant authoritative intergovernmental instruments in biodiversity.
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The decided standards will allow organisations to publicly disclose their major impacts on biodiversity and its management. The disclosure also aims to improve transparency and increase organisational accountability.
The exposure draft will be a response from the companies to its multiple stakeholders who demand to assess more, disclose and curb their biodiversity impacts.
The revised proposal of GRI 304 suggested to:
“It is abundantly clear that biodiversity is under siege, with human activity the leading cause,” said Judy Kuszewski, chair of the GSSB, responsible for setting the GRI Standards.
The effects of biodiversity loss are directly undermining the sustainable development agenda and, if it continues unabated, will have disastrous consequences — on the environment, the economy and people, Kuszewski added.
She urged all stakeholders and interested parties to get involved in the process which will become a focal point for accountability on biodiversity impacts.
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