The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) was created to make the Sustainability Reports internationally agreeable with disclosures and metrics enabled information so that the stakeholders can access, compare and make informed decisions. In this way, the G4 guidelines provide reporting fundamentals, standard publications and implementation standards for the development of the sustainability reports by organizations regardless of their size, sector and region.

The guidelines offer an international advertence for all those interested in the exposure of governance approach and of the environmental, social and commercial performance and impacts of the organization.

The guidelines are represented in two parts:

  • Reporting principles and standard disclosures
  • Implementation manual

Reporting principles and standard disclosures – contains broadcasting principles, definitive disclosures and the paradigm to be applied by an organization to assemble its sustainability reports in accordance with the guidelines. Rendering of the key terms is also included.

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Implementation manual –  contains descriptions of how to use the reporting principles, how to assemble the information to be discovered and how to portray the various concepts in these guidelines. Implications to other sources, vocabulary and general reporting records are to be included. 

Preparing a sustainability report using the guidelines is a looping process. The consecutive steps show how to use the guidelines in the sustainability reporting process. This description aims to guide the reader through the central parts of the guidelines.

  1. Obtain an overview
  2. Choose the preferred “in accordance” option
  3. Prepare to disclose general standard disclosures
  4. Prepare to disclose specific standard disclosures
  5. Prepare the sustainability report 

Organizations that have prepared a sustainability records are requested to broadcast GRI upon release of the report. When revealing GRI, organizations can elect to either

  • Declare GRI of the report and provide a hard copy as well as soft copy
  • Enroll the report in GRI’s sustainability disclosure database: database.globalreporting.org

The core option and the comprehensive option are the two options that offer guidelines to an organization to produce its sustainability report ”in accordance” with the guidelines. The core option contains the crucial elements of the sustainability report. The core option provides the framework against which an organization conveys the impacts of its socio-economic and governance performance.

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The comprehensive option figures a structure on the core option by including additional standard disclosures of the organization’s scenario. Any record containing a description that is framed “ in accordance” with the guidelines must be framed “in accordance” with the basis presented in this part. Reporting organizations that use the G3 and G3.1 guidelines will want to conclude for themselves when to transition to the G4 guidelines.

PRINCIPLES FOR DEFINING REPORT CONTENT 

  • Stakeholder inclusiveness
  • Sustainability context
  • Materiality
  • Completeness 

PRINCIPLES FOR DEFINING REPORT CONTENT 

  • Balance
  • Comparability
  • Accuracy 
  • Timeliness
  • Clarity
  • Reliability 

PROCESS FOR DEFINING REPORTING CONTENT 

  • Identification
  • Prioritization
  • Validation
  • Review 

GRI has advertised ten sector subsidiary that are consistent with G3 and G3.1 guidelines and have been used my hundreds of organizations. The content of these sector subsidiaries has been re-formulated for use with G4 and entitled as GRI sector disclosures. 

Source:https://www.globalreporting.org/resourcelibrary/GRIG4-Part1-Reporting-Principles-and-Standard-Disclosures.pdf