Introduction:

Process Street has created this GRI Standards 101: Foundation 2016 Checklist Template, from the GRI Standards Foundation 2016 report. The purpose of this template is to ease the efficiency and productivity of GRI reporting for your organization. 

This superpowered checklist will lead you through the creation of your GRI report, ensuring that no steps are missed and all information is recorded accurately. 

What is GRI reporting?

The World Commission on Environment and Development set out to define sustainable development in 1987, as below:

'development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs''

Businesses were identified to play a key role in achieving sustainable development. Through organizational activities and relationships, a positive or negative contribution can be made.

Sustainable reporting, promoted by GRI standards, provides a standardized means for companies to address and record publicly their economic, environmental and social impacts. All of which contribute to sustainable development.

All in all, through GRI reporting, information regarding the company's sustainable development is disclosed in a globally-accepted standard.

Through this standard, a common language is created for both organizations and stakeholders to communicate economic, environmental and social impacts. Global comparability and quality of information are both enhanced allowing for greater transparency and organizational accountability. 

GRI reporting standards have been designed to provide a balanced and reasonable representation of an organization's positive and negative contribution to the goal of sustainable development. With this information, both internal and external stakeholders can form opinions and make informed decisions.

What is the GRI 101: Foundation Standard?

The GRI 101: Foundation Standard is the starting point for an organization to report its economic, environmental and/or social impacts. This report sets out the reporting principles for defining the report content and quality.

GRI 101: Foundation is part of the GRI 100 series, representing a universal standard.

This GRI 101 template can be used in conjunction with our other templates listed below:

Each GRI report has been designed to be used together with other GRI reports, to help an organization prepare a sustainability report based on reporting principles and focuses on material topics. 

You will find the following features in this template, added to increase the templates use value:

Record checklist details

In this GRI 101 template, you will be presented with the following form fields, which you are required to populate with your specific data. More information is provided for each form field via linkage to our help pages:

To begin the GRI 101 template, enter the required details into the form fields below.

This is a stop task, which means you cannot progress in this GRI 101 template until the required form fields are complete.

Overview of GRI 101 Standard:

Understand GRI standard requirements, recommendation, and guidance

Requirements, recommendations, and guidance of GRI standards

Requirements

These are mandatory instructions. Requirements are presented in bold font and are indicated with the word 'shall'. Requirements are needed, however, an organization is not required to comply with recommendations or guidance to claim that a report has been prepared following the standards.

Recommendations

These are cases where a particular course of action is encourage, but not required. In the text, the word 'should' indicates a recommendation.

Guidance

Sections that include background information, explanations and examples to help organizations better understand the requirements.

The organization is required to comply with all applicable requirements in order to claim that its report has been prepared in following GRI standards.

View the overall structure of this GRI 101 template

GRI 101 Foundation Structure

Section one

Presents the Reporting Principles for defining report content and report quality. These principles are fundamental to help the organization decide what information should be included in the sustainability report and how to ensure the quality of this information.

Section two

Explains the basic process for using the GRI Standards of sustainability reporting. This section includes fundamental requirements for applying the Reporting Principles, and for identifying and reporting material topics.

Section three

Sets out the ways that the GRI Standards can be used and the specific claims, or statements of use, which are required for organizations using the Standards.

Using the GRI standards for sustainability reporting:

This first section lays out the basic process for sustainability reporting using the GRI Standards. To claim that your sustainability report has been prepared following GRI Standards, the requirements in this section must be met.

These requirements are denoted with the use of 'shall' in the text and bold font.

Understand reporting principles

Reporting principles are defined into two groups: principles for defining report content and principles for defining report quality.

Report content principles

Report content principles help organizations decide which content to include in the report. This involves considering the organization's activities, impacts, and the substantive expectations and interests of its stakeholders.

Report quality principles

Report quality principles guide choices that ensure the quality of the information in the sustainability report, which includes its proper presentation. Quality ensures that sound and reasonable assessments are made of the organization.

Report content:

Follow requirements and guidance for stakeholder inclusiveness

1.1: The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.

Check off the tasks below on completion in the subtask form field. You can add your notes in the long-text form field provided.

Guidance

  • 1
    Document approach for identifying stakeholders
  • 2
    Document approach fro identifying which stakeholders to engage with
  • 3
    Document approach for deciding 'how' and 'when' to engage with the stakeholders
  • 4
    Document how stakeholder engagement has influenced report content and organizational activities, products and services
  • 5
    Stakeholders have been identified
  • 6
    Stakeholder engagement is initiated
  • 7
    Stakeholders expectations and interests have been considered

Systematic stakeholder engagement will result in ongoing learning within the organization and increased accountability for a range of stakeholders. This increases stakeholder trust and thus report credibility.

Use the long-text form field to explain how stakeholder expectations and interests have been responded on.

Sometimes an organization is exposed to conflicting views from stakeholders. It is the responsibility of the organization to balance such conflicts.

Choose 'yes' or 'no' from the dropdown form field presented to be directed to the relevant stage in this checklist.

You will be directed to the relevant stage in this template based on your answer, utilizing our conditional logic feature.

Stakeholders are defined as entities or individuals that are expected to be significantly affected by the reporting organization's activities, products and services; or whose actions can be reasonably expected to affect the ability of an organization to implement its strategies or achieve its objectives.

Balance conflicting stakeholder views

If stakeholders have conflicting views, it is important to balance these views when making report decisions. 

  • 1
    Identify conflicting views
  • 1
    Balance conflicting views

Test you stakeholder inclusiveness

Check off the below tasks on completion.

  • 1
    The reporting organization can describe the stakeholders to whom it considers itself accountable
  • 2
    The report content draws upon the outcomes of stakeholder engagement processes used by the organization in its ongoing activities, and as required by the legal and institutional framework in which it operates
  • 3
    The report content draws upon the outcomes of any stakeholder engagement processes undertaken specifically for the report
  • 4
    The outcome of the stakeholder engagement processes that inform decisions about the report is consistent with the material topics included in the report
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.1 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for sustainability context

1.2: The report shall present the reporting organization's performance in the wider context of sustainability.

Guidance

  • 1
    Determine your organizational aims in regards to future contributions to improvement or deterioration of economic, environmental and social conditions.
  • 2
    Present your organization's performance in the context of the limits and demands placed on economic, environmental and social resources at sectoral, local, regional and global levels

Choose 'yes' or 'no' from the dropdown form field presented to be directed to the relevant stage in this checklist.

You will be directed to the relevant stage in this template based on your answer, utilizing our conditional logic feature.

Frame overall performance in the broader context of sustainability

As an organization operating in a diverse range of locations, sizes, and sectors, it is best to frame its overall performance, with a broader context of sustainability.

  • 1
    Distinguish between factors that drive global change, such as climate change, and those that have regional or local impacts such as community development.
  • 2
    Topics with positive and negative impacts must be reported on, regarding how the organization affects communities in different locations.
  • 3
    Distinguish between patterns of impacts across a range of operations, contextualizing performance location by location.

Test your sustainability context

  • 1
    The reporting organization presents its understanding of sustainable development, drawing on objective and available information, and authoritative measures of sustainable development, for the topics that are covered
  • 2
    The organization presents its performance regarding broader sustainable developments, conditions, and goals, as reflected in recognized sectoral, local, regional and global instruments
  • 3
    The organization presents its performance in a manner that communicates its impacts and contributions in appropriate geographic contexts
  • 4
    The organization describes how economic, environmental, and/or social topics relate to its long term strategy, risks, opportunities, goals and value chain
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.2 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for materiality

1.3: The report shall cover topics that:

1.3.1 reflect the reporting organization's significant economic, environmental and social impacts

1.3.2 substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders

Guidance

There is a wide range of topics on which the organization can report. Confirm that you have reported on topics that meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • 1
    Topics that reflect an organizations economic, environmental and social impacts
  • 2
    Topics that influence stakeholder decisions

In sustainability reporting, materiality is the principle determining which relevant topics are sufficiently important, that it is essential to report on them. Not all material topics are of equal importance. The emphasis in the report is to reflect their relative importance. 

To assess whether a topic is material, a combination of internal and external factors can be used.

  • 1
    When evaluating the importance of information for reflecting significant economic, environmental and/or social impacts, both internal and external factors are considered
  • 2
    The process used to determine the priority of topics can be explained

Check off any of the below statements that apply to your chosen impacts, to make sure that impacts considered are economically, environmentally and socially significant:

  • 1
    Impacts are of established concern for expert communities
  • 2
    Impacts have been identified using established tools such as impact assessment methodologies or life cycle assessments
  • 3
    Impacts are considered important enough to require active management or engagement by the organization

. You can download the image below for guidance purposes. This image shows the two dimensions for assessing whether a topic is material. A topic can be considered material based on only one of these dimensions.

However, the use of this exact matric is not required to apply the materiality principle, it is required to identify material topics based on these two dimensions.

Disclosure 102-46 from GRI 102 requires an explanation of how the Materiality principle has been applied.

Click [HERE] for the GRI 102 template

Test your materiality

In defining material topics, the reporting organization has taken into account the following factors:

  • 1
    Reasonably estimable economic, environmental, and/or social impacts (such as climate change, HIV-AIDS or poverty) identified through sound investigation by people with recognized expertise, or by expert bodies with recognized credentials
  • 2
    The interests and expectations of stakeholders specifically invested in the organization, such as employees and shareholders
  • 3
    Broader economic, social, and/or environmental interests and topics raised by stakeholders such as workers who are not employees, suppliers, local communities, vulnerable groups, and civil society
  • 4
    The main topics and future challenges for a sector as identified by peers and competitors
  • 5
    Laws, regulations, international agreements, or voluntary agreements of strategic significance to the organization and its stakeholders
  • 6
    Key organizational values, policies, strategies, operational management systems, goals, and targets
  • 7
    The core competencies of the organization and how they can contribute to sustainable development
  • 8
    Consequences for the organization relating to its impacts on the economy, the environment, and/or society (for example, risks to its business model or reputation)
  • 9
    Material topics are appropriately prioritized in the report
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.3 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for completeness

1.4: The report shall include coverage of material topics and their boundaries, sufficient to reflect significant economic, environmental and social impacts, and to enable stakeholders to asses the reporting organization's performance in the reporting period.

Guidance

List of material topics covered in the report:

  • 1
    Together, the topics covered in the report are expected to be sufficient to reflect the organization's significant economic, environmental and/or social impacts, enabling stakeholders to assess the organization
  • 2
    In determining whether the information in the report is sufficient, the organization considers the results of stakeholder engagement processes
  • 3
    In determining whether the information in the report is sufficient, the organization considers the results of broad-based societal expectations that are not identified directly through stakeholder engagement processes

Topic boundaries included in the report:

  • 1
    For each material topic, the impacts that will occur has been stated along with the organization's involvement with those impacts to produce a description that is defined as a topic boundary
  • 2
    When determining impacts, an organization's activities along with the activities of business relationships, are considered
  • 3
    Impacts caused by an organization are considered along with impacts contributed to by an organization

Time is included in the report:

  • 1
    A time period is specified for the completeness of selected information
  • 2
    Predictable activities, events, and impacts are expected to be presented for the reporting period in which they occur

Even activities with short-term impacts, but with a significant and reasonably foreseeable cumulative effect that can become unavoidable or irreversible in the longer-term, should be reported on. For example, bioaccumulation or persistent pollution.

Make estimates:

  • 1
    Estimating future impacts (both positive and negative) is well-reasoned, reflecting the likely size and nature of impacts
  • 2
    The basis for estimates is reported and the limitations of the estimates are acknowledged
  • 3
    Disclosing the nature of these impacts, even if they only materialize in the future, is consistent to provide a balanced and reasonable representation or the organization's economic, environmental, and social impacts

Test your completeness

  • 1
    The report takes into account impacts the reporting organization causes, contributes to, or is directly linked to through a business relationship, and covers and prioritizes all material information based on the principles: Materiality, Sustainability Context, and Stakeholder Inclusiveness
  • 2
    The information in the report includes all significant impacts in the reporting period and reasonable estimates of significant future impacts when those impacts are reasonably foreseeable and can become avoidable or irreversible
  • 3
    The report does not omit relevant information that substantively influences stakeholder assessments and decisions, or that reflects significant economic, environmental, and social impacts
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.4 attainment

Report quality:

Follow requirements and guidance for accuracy

1.5: The reported information shall be sufficiently accurate and detailed for stakeholders to assess the reporting organization's performance.

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that the information can be expressed in many different ways, from qualitative responses to detailed quantitative measurements
  • 2
    It is understood that the characteristics that define accuracy vary, depending on the nature of the information and who is using it
  • 3
    It is understood that the specific threshold of accuracy can depend partly on the intended use of the information. Certain decisions require a higher level of accuracy in reported information than others

Accuracy of qualitative information can be affected by its degree of clarity and detail, and its balance concerning the topic boundary.

The accuracy of quantitative information can depend on the specific methods used to gather, compile and analyze data.

Test for accuracy

This is a stop task, meaning you cannot progress in this template before all the below tasks are complete.

  • 1
    The report indicates data that has been measured
  • 2
    The measurements for data and bases for calculations are adequately described and can be replicated with similar results
  • 3
    The margin of error for quantitative data is not sufficient to influence substantially the ability of stakeholders to reach appropriate and informed conclusions
  • 4
    The report indicates which data has been estimated, and the underlying assumptions and techniques used for this estimation, or where that information can be found
  • 5
    The qualitative statements in the report are consistent with other reported information and other available evidence
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.5 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for balance

1.6: The reported information shall reflect the positive and negative aspects of the reporting organization’s performance to enable a reasoned assessment of overall performance.

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that the overall presentation of the report's content is expected to provide an unbiased picture of the organization's performance
  • 2
    The report avoids selections, omissions, or presentation formats that are reasonably likely to unduly or inappropriately influence a decision or judgment by the report reader
  • 3
    It is understood that the report is expected to include both favorable and unfavorable results, as well as information that can influence the decisions of stakeholders in proportion to their materiality
  • 4
    It is understood that the report is also expected to distinguish clearly between facts and the organization's interpretation of them

Test for balance

  • 1
    The report covers both favorable and unfavorable results and topics
  • 2
    The information in the report is presented in a format that allows users to see positive and negative trends in performance on a year-to-year basis
  • 3
    The emphasis on the various topics in the report reflects their relative priority
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.6 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for clarity

1.7: The reporting organization shall make information available in a manner that is understandable and accessible to stakeholders using that information.

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that the report is expected to present information in a way that is understandable, accessible, and usable by the organization's range of stakeholders, whether in print form or through other channels
  • 2
    Stakeholders can find the information that they want without unreasonable effort
  • 3
    Information is presented in a manner that is comprehensible to stakeholders who have an understanding of the organization and its activities
  • 4
    It is understood that graphics and consolidated data tables can help make information in the report accessible and understandable
  • 5
    It is understood that the level of aggregation of information can also affect the clarity of the report if it is more or less detailed than the stakeholders expect

Test for clarity

  • 1
    The report contains the level of information required but avoids excessive and unnecessary detail
  • 2
    Stakeholders can find the specific information they want without unreasonable effort through tables of contents, maps, links, or other aids
  • 3
    The report avoids technical terms, acronyms, jargon, or other content likely to be unfamiliar to stakeholders, and includes explanations (where necessary) in the relevant section or a glossary
  • 4
    The information in the report is available to stakeholders, including those with particular accessibility needs, such as differing abilities, language, or technology
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.7 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for comparability

1.8: The reporting organization shall select, compile, and report information consistently. The reported information shall be presented in a manner that enables stakeholders to analyze changes in the organization’s performance over time, and that could support analysis relative to other organizations

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that comparability is necessary for evaluating performance
  • 2
    Stakeholders can compare information on the organization's current economic, environmental and social performance against the organization's past performance, its objectives, and, to the degree possible, against the performance of other organizations
  • 3
    It is understood that consistency allows internal and external parties to benchmark performance and assess progress as part of rating activities, investment decisions, advocacy programs, and other activities
  • 4
    It is understood that comparisons between organizations will require sensitivity to factors such as the organizations’ size, geographic influences, and other considerations that can affect the relative performance of an organization.
  • 5
    Context is provided where necessary to help the report users understand factors that can contribute to differences in impacts or performance between organizations
  • 6
    It is understood that consistency must be maintained over time for comparability. For example, report layout, calculations, and explanations of methods and assumptions are consistent
  • 7
    It is understood that the report should evolve with the changing of reporting topics
  • 8
    It is understood that the report is expected to include total numbers - that is, absolute data, such as tons of waste - as well as ratios, to enable analytical comparison

Changes can occur concerning material topics, topic Boundaries, the length of the reporting period, or information, including the design, definitions, and use of disclosures in the report. When this happens, the reporting organization is expected to present current disclosures alongside restatements of historic data, or vice versa, ensuring information and comparisons are reliable and meaningful over time.

When such restatements are not provided, the organization is expected to give sufficient explanations for interpreting current disclosures.

Test for comparability

  • 1
    The report and its information can be compared on a year-to-year basis
  • 2
    The reporting organization's performance can be compared with appropriate benchmarks
  • 3
    Any significant variation between reporting periods in the list of material topics, topic Boundaries, length of the reporting period, or information covered in the report can be identified and explained
  • 4
    When they are available, the report utilizes generally accepted protocols for compiling, measuring, and presenting information, including the information required by the GRI Standards
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.8 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for reliability

1.9: The reporting organization shall gather, record, compile, analyze, and report information and processes used in the preparation of the report in a way that they can be subject to examination, and that establishes the quality and materiality of the information.

Guidance

  • 1
    Stakeholders are confident that the report can be checked to establish the veracity of its contents and the extent to which the reporting principles have been applied
  • 2
    Individuals, other than those who prepared the report, can review internal controls or documentation that supports the information in the report
  • 3
    It is understood that disclosures about the reporting organization’s impacts or performance that are not substantiated by evidence do not need to appear in the sustainability report unless they represent material information, and the report provides unambiguous explanations of any uncertainties associated with the information
  • 4
    Decision-making processes underlying the report are documented in a manner that allows for examination of key decisions, such as processes for determining report content
  • 5
    It is understood that if the organization designs information systems for its reporting, it is expected to anticipate that the systems can be examined as part of an external assurance process

Test for reliability

  • 1
    The scope and extent of external assurance is identified
  • 2
    The organization can identify the original sources of the information in the report
  • 3
    The organization can provide reliable evidence to support assumptions or complex calculations
  • 4
    Representation is available from the original data or information owners, attesting to its accuracy within an acceptable margin of error
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.9 attainment

Follow requirements and guidance for timeliness

1.10: The reporting organization shall report on a regular schedule so that information is available in time for stakeholders to make informed decisions.

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that the usefulness of information is closely tied to whether it is available in time for stakeholders to integrate it into their decision-making
  • 2
    It is understood that timeliness refers to the regularity of reporting as well as its proximity to the impacts described in the report
  • 3
    Consolidated disclosure is committed to regularly providing a consolidate disclosure of economic, environmental and social impacts at a single point in time
  • 4
    Frequency of reporting and length of reporting periods is consistent enabling comparability of information over time and the accessibility of the report to stakeholders
  • 5
    It is understood that it is valuable for stakeholders if the schedules for sustainability reporting and other forms of reporting, in particular, financial reporting, are aligned
  • 6
    It is understood that the organization is expected to balance the need to provide information on time with the need to ensure that the information is reliable, including any restatements of previous disclosures

Test for timeliness

  • 1
    Information in the report has been disclosed while it is recent, relative to the reporting period
  • 2
    The information in the report clearly indicates the period to which it relates, when it will be updated, and when the latest updates were made, and separately identifies any restatements of previous disclosures along with the reasons for restatement
  • 1
    Disclosure 1.10 attainment

Make sure all requirements are met

The following are reporting requirements. Make sure that all these requirements are met.

Report content requirements

1.1 Stakeholder Inclusiveness: The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.

1.2 Sustainability context: The report shall present the reporting organization's performance in the wider context of sustainability.

1.3 Materiality: The report shall cover topics that

a. reflect the reporting organization's significant economic, environmental and social impacts;

b. substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.

1.4 Completeness: The report shall include coverage of material topics and their boundaries, sufficient to reflect significant economic, environmental and social impacts, and to enable stakeholders to asses the reporting organization's performance in the reporting period.

Report quality requirements

1.5 Accuracy: The reported information shall be sufficiently accurate and detailed for stakeholders to assess the reporting organization's performance.

1.6 Balance: The reported information shall reflect positive and negative aspects of the reporting organization’s performance to enable a reasoned assessment of overall performance.

1.7 Clarity: The reporting organization shall make information available in a manner that is understandable and accessible to stakeholders using that information.

1.8 Comparability: The reporting organization shall select, compile, and report information consistently. The reported information shall be presented in a manner that enables stakeholders to analyze changes in the organization’s performance over time, and that could support analysis relative to other organizations

1.9 Reliability: The reporting organization shall gather, record, compile, analyze, and report information and processes used in the preparation of the report in a way that they can be subject to examination, and that establishes the quality and materiality of the information.

1.10 Timeliness: The reporting organization shall report on a regular schedule so that information is available in time for stakeholders to make informed decisions.

You are presented with our dropdown form field. Using this form field, you can select 'yes' or 'no' to confirm that all reporting requirements have been met.

This is a conditional logic step. Depending on your response, you will be directed to the relevant stage in this template.

Revisit reporting requirements

Not all reporting requirements have been met. You need to revisit those requirements that have been omitted to ensure they are met before you can move forward in this template.

This is a stop task which means you cannot progress in this template until all relevant tasks are complete

  • 1
    All reporting requirements have been met
  • 2
    Any requirements that have been omitted, a reason for omission has been given (see task 46)
  • 3
    It is understood that if requirements have not been met, with a sufficient reason for omission, it cannot be claimed that your published report has been made under the GRI Standards

Using this GRI standard:

Apply reporting principles

2.1: The reporting organization shall apply all Reporting Principles from Section 1 to define report content and quality.

  • 1
    Disclosure 2.1 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    The ten reporting principles have been applied to your GRI sustainability report

Consider reporting general disclosures

2.2: The reporting organization shall report the required disclosures from the GRI 102: General Disclosures 

  • 1
    Disclosure 2.2 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    The required disclosures from GRI 102 have been applied to the sustainability report

You can access Process Streets GRI 102: General Disclosures [HERE]

Identify material topics and their boundaries

2.3: The reporting organization shall identify its material topics using the Reporting Principles for defining report content.

2.3.1 The reporting organization should consult the GRI Sector Disclosures that relate to its sector, if available, to assist with identifying its material topics.

2.4: The reporting organization shall identify the Boundary for each material topic.

  • 1
    Disclosure 2.3 attainment
  • 2
    Disclosure 2.4 attainment

Material topics are those that an organization has prioritized for inclusions in the sustainability report. This prioritization exercise is carried out using the Stakeholder Inclusiveness and the Materiality.

Guidance

  • 1
    Material topics are identified based on the significance of the organization's economic, environmental, and social impacts and their substantive influence on the assessments and decision of stakeholders
  • 2
    It is understood that 'impact' refers to the effect an organization has on the economy, the environment, and/or society, which in turn indicates its contribution (positive or negative) to sustainable development

Using the GRI Sector Disclosures

GRI sector disclosures are used in conjunction with the GRI standards and can be found on the GRI Standards website.

  • 1
    The relevant Sector Disclosures have been consulted, to help identify material topics
  • 2
    It is understood that the sector disclosures are not a substitute for applying the Reporting Principles for defining report content

Linking identified material topics to the GRI standards 

  • 1
    It is understood that the use of 'topics' in the GRI Standards refers to broad economic, environmental, and social subjects, such as Indirect Economic Impacts, Water, or Employment.
  • 2
    It is understood that the topics covered in the GRI Standards are not exhaustive. In some cases, a topic may be identified that does not match exactly with the available topic-specific standards. The best matching Standard topic must be used in these cases

These topics are intentionally broad, with each topic covering numerous related concepts.

If you identify a material topic that does not relate to one of the topic-specific Standards, see 'Understand how to report on material topics' for requirements on how to report it.

Reporting the boundary for each material topic

The topic Boundary is the description of where the impacts occur for a material topic and the organization's involvement with those impacts.

  • 1
    It is understood that the organization can be involved with impacts either through their activities or as a result of business relationships. Both impacts are expected to be reported on.

Business relationships considered includes relationships with business partners, entities in its value chain, and any other non-State or State entity directly linked to its business operations, products or services

See GRI 103 template for more detailed information on topic boundaries. Access GRI 103 [HERE]

Understand how to report on material topics

2.5: For each material topic, the reporting organization: 

2.5.1 Shall report the management approach disclosures for that topic, using GRI 103: Management Approach, and either:

2.5.2 Shall report the topic-specific disclosures in the corresponding GRI Standard, if the material topic is covered by an existing GRI Standard (series 200, 300, and 400), or

2.5.3 should report other appropriate disclosures if the material topic is not covered by an existing GRI Standard

  • 1
    Disclosure 2.5 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    All material topics identified and reported as Standard in GRI 102: General Disclosures
  • 2
    If a material topic is not covered by an existing topic-specific GRI Standard, the organization is still required to report on its management approach using GRI: 103 Management Approach
  • 3
    Material topics can be reported using additional disclosures from other sources. These additional disclosures are expected to be subject to the same technical rigor as GRI Standards

Reporting topics where the Boundary extends beyond the reporting organization

  • 1
    In some cases, the Boundary of a topic extends beyond the organization, and so it may not be possible to report some topic-specific disclosures, as not all information is accessible. In these cases, the organization should still report its management approach to the topic. but use recognized reasons for omission

See task 45 for reasons for omission

See GRI 103 [HERE] for requirements regarding reporting specific limitation regarding the topic boundary 

Understand how to present information

2.6: If the reporting organization reports a required disclosure using a reference to another source where the information is located, the organization shall ensure:

2.6.1 The reference includes the specific location of the required disclosure;

2.6.2 The referenced information is publicly available and readily accessible.

  • 1
    Disclosure 2.6 attainment
  • 1
    It is understood that if required disclosures are already included in other materials prepared by the reporting organization, then they do not need repeating in the sustainability report, only a reference to where information can be found is needed.
  • 2
    Any references are specific, publicly available and readily accessible

Reporting format

  • 1
    It is understood that a combination of both electronic and paper-based reports can be used
  • 2
    The report should contain the GRI content index, which includes the page number or URL for all disclosures reported

See GRI 102: General Disclosures template for more infomation [HERE]

Understand how to compile and present information in the report

2.7: When preparing a sustainability report, the reporting organization should:

2.7.1 present information for the current reporting period and at least two previous periods, as well as future short and medium-term targets if they have been established;

2.7.2 compile and report information using generally accepted international metrics (such as kilograms or liters) and standard conversion factors, and explain the basis of measurement/calculation used, where not otherwise apparent

2.7.3 provide absolute data and explanatory notes when using ratios or normalized data

2.7.4 define a consistent reporting period for issuing a report

  • 1
    It is understood that processes and information, that have not changed since a previous report, can be identified
  • 2
    It is understood that the organization can choose to update only the information that has changed and to republish or provide a reference to any disclosures that have not changed in the reporting period
  • 1
    Disclosure 2.7 attainment

Please note that disclosure 2.7 is not a requirement

Make sure all requirements are met

Apply reporting principles

2.1: The reporting organization shall apply all Reporting Principles from Section 1 to define report content and quality.

Reporting general disclosures

2.2: The reporting organization shall report the required disclosures from the GRI 102: General Disclosures 

Identify material topics and their boundaries

2.3: The reporting organization shall identify its material topics using the Reporting Principles for defining report content.

2.4: The reporting organization shall identify the Boundary for each material topic.

Understand how to report on material topics

2.5: For each material topic, the reporting organization: 

2.5.1 Shall report the management approach disclosures for that topic, using GRI 103: Management Approach, and either:

2.5.2 Shall report the topic-specific disclosures in the corresponding GRI Standard, if the material topic is covered by an existing GRI Standard (series 200, 300, and 400).

Understand how to present information

2.6: If the reporting organization reports a required disclosure using a reference to another source where the information is located, the organization shall ensure:

2.6.1 The reference includes the specific location of the required disclosure;

2.6.2 The referenced information is publicly available and readily accessible.

Revisit reporting requirements

Not all reporting requirements have been met. You need to revisit those requirements that have been omitted to ensure they are met before you can move forward in this template.

This is a stop task which means you cannot progress in this template until all relevant tasks are complete

  • 1
    All reporting requirements have been met
  • 2
    Any requirements that have been omitted, a reason for omission has been given (see task 46)
  • 3
    It is understood that if requirements have not been met, with a sufficient reasons for omission, it cannot be claimed that your published report has been made under the GRI Standards

Understand the two options for report preparation

There are two options for preparing the report following the GRI Standards: Core and Comprehensive

  • Core: This option indicates that a report contains the minimum information needed to understand the nature of the organization, its material topics and related impacts, and how these are managed
  • Comprehensive: This builds on the Core option by requiring additional disclosures on the organization’s strategy, ethics and integrity, and governance. Also, the organization is required to report more extensively on its impacts by reporting all the topic-specific disclosures for each material topic covered by the GRI Standards

These options reflect the degree to which GRI Standards have been applied.

It is not required to progress from Core to Comprehensive, an option that best meets reporting needs and the information needs of its stakeholders is chosen.

Follow requirements and guidance to claim that a report has been prepared with GRI Standards

3.1: To claim that a sustainability report has been prepared following the GRI Standards, the reporting organization shall meet all criteria for the respective option (Core or Comprehensive)

  • 1
    Disclosure 3.1 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that if the organization does not meet the minimum criteria, Core or Comprehensive, then it cannot claim the report has been prepared following GRI Standards
  • 2
    If the minimum criteria are not met, it is understood that a GRI-reference claim has to be applied, with disclosures based on the GRI Standards
  • 3
    It is understood that an organization that reports additional disclosures beyond the criteria for Core but does not meet the minimum criteria for Comprehensive, the claim of being in accordance cannot be made. However, additional disclosures reported in its GRI content index can be included

GRI content index

  • 1
    It is understood that to prepare a report following the GRI Standards, whether Core or Comprehensive, a GRI content index is included
  • 2
    It is understood that the GRI content index lists all GRI Standards used and disclosures reported

Selecting disclosures to report for the core option

  • 1
    It is understood that the topic-specific GRI Standards include numerous disclosures, and if a disclosure is not reported, it is expected that the most adequate disclosure is selected and reported

Follow the GRI Standards criteria

You can download the required criteria's listed core and comprehensive options below.

For record purposes, you can select whether core or comprehensive options were selected for the required criteria below.

Required criteria: Use the correct claim (statement of use) in any published materials with disclosures based on the GRI Standards

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Use GRI 101: Foundation to follow the basic process for preparing a sustainability report

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Use GRI 102: General Disclosures to report contextual information about the organization

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Use GRI 103: Management Approach to report the management approach and the topic Boundary for all material topics

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Use the topic-specific GRI Standards (series 200, 300, 400) to report on material topics

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Ensure that reasons for omissions are used correctly, if applicable

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Required criteria: Notify GRI of the use of the Standards

  • 1
    Core option
  • 2
    Comprehensive option

Consult the reasons for omission

3.2: If in exceptional cases, an organization preparing a sustainability report following the GRI Standards, cannot report a required disclosure, the organization shall provide a reason for an omission that:

3.2.1 describes the specific information that has been omitted; and

3.2.2 specifies one of the following reasons for omission from 'reasons for omission' table provided below, including the required explanation for that reason.

  • 1
    Disclosure 3.2 attainment

Guidance

Using 'not applicable' as a reason for disclosure omission

  • 1
    It is understood that reasons for omission can be used if, in exceptional cases, an organization cannot report a disclosure that is required for reporting following the GRI Standards (either the Core or Comprehensive option)
  • 2
    It is understood that reasons for omission can only be used for certain disclosures as stated in task 43, 'Reuiqred criteria - core and comprehensive options' file
  • 3
    It is understood that the omission of a large number of required disclosures will reduce the credibility of the report
  • 1
    It is understood that 'not applicable' reason for omission can be used if the specific situation covered by the disclosure does not apply to the organization*
  • 2
    It is understood that 'not applicable' can also be used as a reason for omission if disclosures do not cover the specific impacts that make the topic material.

*To exemplify this situation, an organization may identify 'Energy' and 'Emissions' as material topics, but the only form of energy the organization consumes is purchased electricity. In this case, fuel is not directly consumed within the organization, or by sources, it owns or controls. Therefore, disclosures related to fuel consumption within the organization can be considered 'not applicable'.

Reasons for omission if the Boundary extends beyond the reporting organization

  • 1
    It is understood that if the Boundary for a material topic extends beyond the organization, and the organization cannot obtain information of sufficient quality to enable reporting, 'information unavailable' can be used as a reason for the omission
  • 2
    It is understood that if omission has occurred because the information is unavailable, then an explanation is needed as to why the information could not be obtained
  • 3
    It is understood that when topic-specific disclosures cannot be reported, the organization is required to report its management approach for the topic (see GRI 103 template)

You can access GRI 103 Template [HERE]

Use selected Standards with a GRI-referenced claim

3.3: If the reporting organization uses selected GRI Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information, but has not met the criteria to prepare a report following the GRI Standards (as per clause 3.1), the organization:

3.3.1: shall include in any published material with disclosures based on the GRI Standards a statement that:

3.3.1.1: contains the following text: ‘This material references [title and publication year of the Standard]’, for each Standard used;

3.3.1.2: indicates which specific content from the Standard has been applied, if the Standard has not been used in full;

3.3.2: Shall comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported;

3.3.3: Shall notify GRI of the use of the Standards, as per clause 3.4;

3.3.4: Should apply the Reporting Principles for defining report quality from section 1;

3.3.5: should report its management approach by applying GRI 103: Management Approach together with any topic-specific Standard used.

  • 1
    Disclosure 3.3 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that the organization using disclosures from the GRI Standards are required to state how it has done so in published materials
  • 2
    It is understood that if the organization does not meet the criteria given in task 43, it is still required to include a 'GRI-referenced' claim in any published materials
  • 3
    It is understood that an organization making selective use of the Standards is not able to claim that is has prepared the report in accordance with the GRI Standards
  • 4
    It is understood that an organization making selective use of the standards can still apply the Reporting Principles for defining the report quality

Reporting Principles help to ensure that the information is accurate and of high quality, which in turn enables stakeholders to make a sound assessment based on that information

Notify GRI of the use of the Standards

3.4: The reporting organization shall notify GRI of its use of the GRI Standards, and the claim it has made in the report or published material, by either:

3.4.1: sending a copy to GRI at [email protected]; or

3.4.2: registering the report or published material at www.globalreporting.org/standards.

  • 1
    Disclosure 3.4 attainment

Guidance

  • 1
    It is understood that GRI must be notified if a sustainability report is prepared following GRI Standards, using either the Core or Comprehensive option
  • 2
    It is understood that GRI must be notified if the published materials include a GRI-referenced claim
  • 3
    It is understood that notifying GRI of the use of the GRI Standards provides transparency in how the standards are applied by organizations around the world.
  • 4
    It is understood that there is no cost associated with notifying GRI of the use of the Standards

Make sure all requirements are met

Follow requirements and guidance to claim that a report has been prepared with GRI Standards

3.1: To claim that a sustainability report has been prepared following the GRI Standards, the reporting organization shall meet all criteria for the respective option (Core or Comprehensive)

Consult the reasons for omission

3.2: If in exceptional cases, an organization preparing a sustainability report following the GRI Standards, cannot report a required disclosure, the organization shall provide a reason for an omission that:

3.2.1 describes the specific information that has been omitted; and

3.2.2 specifies one of the following reasons for omission from 'reasons for omission' table provided below, including the required explanation for that reason.

Use selected Standards with a GRI-referenced claim

3.3: If the reporting organization uses selected GRI Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information, but has not met the criteria to prepare a report following the GRI Standards (as per clause 3.1), the organization:

3.3.1: shall include in any published material with disclosures based on the GRI Standards a statement that:

3.3.1.1: contains the following text: ‘This material references [title and publication year of the Standard]’, for each Standard used;

3.3.1.2: indicates which specific content from the Standard has been applied, if the Standard has not been used in full;

3.3.2: Shall comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported;

3.3.3: Shall notify GRI of the use of the Standards, as per clause 3.4;

Notify GRI of the use of the Standards

3.4: The reporting organization shall notify GRI of its use of the GRI Standards, and the claim it has made in the report or published material, by either:

3.4.1: sending a copy to GRI at [email protected]; or

3.4.2: registering the report or published material at www.globalreporting.org/standards.

Revisit reporting requirements

Not all reporting requirements have been met. You need to revisit those requirements that have been omitted to ensure they are met before you can move forward in this template.

This is a stop task which means you cannot progress in this template until all relevant tasks are complete

  • 1
    All reporting requirements have been met
  • 2
    Any requirements that have been omitted, a reason for omission has been given (see task 46)
  • 3
    It is understood that if requirements have not been met, with a sufficient reasons for omission, it cannot be claimed that your published report has been made under the GRI Standards

Declare compliance

Once you have completed your GRI 101 Foundation standard report, you must declare that the standards for this report have been met.

Check off each task in the subtask form field below for this declaration. This is a stop task, meaning that you cannot progress in this checklist until all tasks are completed.

  • 1
    Reporting principles have been applied
  • 2
    Disclosures giving contextual information about the organization have been made
  • 3
    Every material topic has been identified and reported on

Review disclosure summary

Report content requirements

1.1 Stakeholder Inclusiveness: The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.

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1.2 Sustainability context: The report shall present the reporting organization's performance in the wider context of sustainability.

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1.3 Materiality: The report shall cover topics that

a. reflect the reporting organization's significant economic, environmental and social impacts;

b. substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.

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1.4 Completeness: The report shall include coverage of material topics and their boundaries, sufficient to reflect significant economic, environmental and social impacts, and to enable stakeholders to asses the reporting organization's performance in the reporting period.

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Report quality requirements

1.5 Accuracy: The reported information shall be sufficiently accurate and detailed for stakeholders to assess the reporting organization's performance.

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1.6 Balance: The reported information shall reflect positive and negative aspects of the reporting organization’s performance to enable a reasoned assessment of overall performance.

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1.7 Clarity: The reporting organization shall make information available in a manner that is understandable and accessible to stakeholders using that information.

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1.8 Comparability: The reporting organization shall select, compile, and report information consistently. The reported information shall be presented in a manner that enables stakeholders to analyze changes in the organization’s performance over time, and that could support analysis relative to other organizations

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1.9 Reliability: The reporting organization shall gather, record, compile, analyze, and report information and processes used in the preparation of the report in a way that they can be subject to examination, and that establishes the quality and materiality of the information.

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1.10 Timeliness: The reporting organization shall report on a regular schedule so that information is available in time for stakeholders to make informed decisions.

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Apply reporting principles

2.1: The reporting organization shall apply all Reporting Principles from Section 1 to define report content and quality.

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Reporting general disclosures

2.2: The reporting organization shall report the required disclosures from the GRI 102: General Disclosures 

{{form.Disclosure_2.2_notes}}

Identify material topics and their boundaries

2.3: The reporting organization shall identify its material topics using the Reporting Principles for defining report content.

{{form.Disclosure_2.3_notes}}

2.4: The reporting organization shall identify the Boundary for each material topic.

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Understand how to report on material topics

2.5: For each material topic, the reporting organization: 

2.5.1 Shall report the management approach disclosures for that topic, using GRI 103: Management Approach, and either:

2.5.2 Shall report the topic-specific disclosures in the corresponding GRI Standard, if the material topic is covered by an existing GRI Standard (series 200, 300, and 400).

{{form.Disclosure_2.5_notes}}

Understand how to present information

2.6: If the reporting organization reports a required disclosure using a reference to another source where the information is located, the organization shall ensure:

2.6.1 The reference includes the specific location of the required disclosure;

2.6.2 The referenced information is publicly available and readily accessible.

{{form.Disclosure_2.6_notes}}

Follow requirements and guidance to claim that a report has been prepared with GRI Standards

3.1: To claim that a sustainability report has been prepared following the GRI Standards, the reporting organization shall meet all criteria for the respective option (Core or Comprehensive)

{{form.Disclosure_3.1_notes}}

Consult the reasons for omission

3.2: If in exceptional cases, an organization preparing a sustainability report following the GRI Standards, cannot report a required disclosure, the organization shall provide a reason for an omission that:

3.2.1 describes the specific information that has been omitted; and

3.2.2 specifies one of the following reasons for omission from 'reasons for omission' table provided below, including the required explanation for that reason.

{{form.Disclosure_3.2_notes}}

Use selected Standards with a GRI-referenced claim

3.3: If the reporting organization uses selected GRI Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information, but has not met the criteria to prepare a report following the GRI Standards (as per clause 3.1), the organization:

3.3.1: shall include in any published material with disclosures based on the GRI Standards a statement that:

3.3.1.1: contains the following text: ‘This material references [title and publication year of the Standard]’, for each Standard used;

3.3.1.2: indicates which specific content from the Standard has been applied, if the Standard has not been used in full;

3.3.2: Shall comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported;

3.3.3: Shall notify GRI of the use of the Standards, as per clause 3.4;

{{form.Disclosure_3.3_notes}}

Notify GRI of the use of the Standards

3.4: The reporting organization shall notify GRI of its use of the GRI Standards, and the claim it has made in the report or published material, by either:

3.4.1: sending a copy to GRI at [email protected]; or

3.4.2: registering the report or published material at www.globalreporting.org/standards.

{{form.Disclosure_3.4_notes}}

Key terms:

Define key terms

Terms that are used in the GRI Standards, which apply when using the Standards, are defined in the GRI Standards Glossary.

Standard Interpretations:

Understand Standard Interpretation 1 to GRI 101: Foundation 2016 on making a GRI-reference claim

Responsibility

This Standard Interpretation is issued by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB). Any feedback on the GRI Standards and related Interpretations can be submitted to [email protected] for the consideration of the GSSB

Issue

Organizations can use selected GRI Standards, or parts of their content, to report specific information; this option is referred to as a ‘GRI-referenced’ claim. The option requires indicating which specific content from each Standard used has been applied, if the Standard has not been used in full (see clause 3.3.1.2 in GRI 101: Foundation 2016), and requires complying with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported (see clause 3.3.2 in GRI 101).

Feedback from users of the GRI Standards indicated that clause 3.3.2 in GRI 101 (‘The reporting organization shall comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported’) seems to conflict with the statement that the organization can report specific information using parts of the content from the Standards (clause 3.3.1.2).

This Standard Interpretation clarifies the reporting requirements for organizations using selected Standards, or parts of their content, with a GRI-referenced claim.

Interpretation Statement

An organization making a GRI-referenced claim is not required to comply with clause 3.3.2 in GRI 101: Foundation 2016 (‘The reporting organization shall comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported’).

An organization making a GRI-referenced claim is required to indicate which specific content from each Standard used has been applied, if the Standard has not been used in full (see clause 3.3.1.2 in GRI 101).

For example, an organization reporting on requirements a-d and g (but not e and f) of Disclosure 305-1 is required to indicate this in its GRI-referenced claim; e.g., ‘This material references Disclosure 305-1 (a-d, and g) from GRI 305: Emissions 2016’.

Where possible, an organization is encouraged to comply with all reporting requirements that correspond to the disclosures reported (see clause 3.3.2 in GRI 101).

Effective date

This Standard Interpretation is effective for reports or other materials published on or after 1 July 2018

Sources:

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