Sustainability Reporting: What are different types of Reporting?

Sustainability Reporting

Following are some types of frameworks for sustainability reporting:


  1. Global Reporting Initiative Standards (GRI Standards)

This is the most complete and widely recognized sustainability reporting standard presently available. It comprises a set of ten reporting standards that should be followed when it comes to the content and quality of reports. In this collection of standards, stakeholder participation and materiality evaluation are critical components of the reporting process.

It includes two reporting alternatives, one slightly limited and the other extensive, and it is almost thorough, clear, and specific with explanations for every revelation. It is dynamic and adaptable to changing stages of reporting, the demands of the firm or stakeholders, and the industry because it is based on a single set of standards for all industry sectors and organizations.

The GRI Standards are a three-part modular framework that includes the GRI Universal Standards, GRI Sector Standards, and GRI Topic Standards. Each Standard starts with a step-by-step guide on how to use it. The Standards include disclosures, which give an organization a formal way to report information about itself and its effects. The disclosures may contain mandates as well as suggestions. The information that an organization must report or the instructions that it must follow and report in line with the GRI Standards are listed in the requirements. Recommendations imply that certain information or a certain course of action is recommended but not required. Background information, explanations, and examples can all be used to aid comprehension

2. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or UN SDGs)

The United Nations approved these 17 objectives in 2015 as a global call to action to eradicate poverty, safeguard the environment, and ensure that by 2030, everyone lives in peace and prosperity. It lays out objectives for most of the ESG concerns that are troubling the world today, while also demonstrating how the issues are interrelated, and how addressing one can help with another or more.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a key component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aspires to create a more sustainable future.

The goal of this agenda is to address global issues including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, and justice.

It is based on the following assumptions:


  1. Economic growth, social advancement, and environmental conservation are all intertwined and must be addressed simultaneously. As a result, all of the SDGs are intertwined and must be achieved in concert.
  2. To restructure our global society, a collaborative effort including diverse players (governments, companies, and civil society) is required. The SDGs are viewed as a way to bring these disparate parties together around a single goal. In this sense, the 17th SDG is critical: it emphasizes the need for new multi-stakeholder and cross-sectorial collaborations. Without it, achieving the goal of resolving the world’s big difficulties will be impossible.

3. Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

The SASB standards, together with the IR Framework, are now part of the Value Reporting Foundation, which focuses on investors’ needs to analyze their investment possibilities and risks. Companies all around the globe may use SASB Standards to identify, assess, and manage the subset of ESG subjects that have the greatest direct influence on long-term organizational value development.

SASB offers a different set of standards for individual sectors, together with associated documentation, that focus on the most pressing industry-specific sustainability challenges.

SASB, like GRI, has a three-tiered structure:


  1. There are 77 industrial standards for 77 industries, which are grouped into 11 groups.
  2. Each of the 77 industries listed has its standard, which includes documentation on the Standards, a Basis for Conclusions section that explains any revisions, and Application Guidance recommendations.
  3. Every set of SASB Standards for each sector comprises an introduction to the SASB Standard, a description of how to use the standard, and a description of the industry. Before the issues are addressed in-depth, a glimpse of the disclosures and accounting metrics by top is presented.

4. Integrated Reporting (IR) Framework

The International Integrated Reporting Council designed this structure (IIRC). Along with the SASB, the Integrated Reporting framework is now part of the Value Reporting Foundation. Integrated reporting brings together key information about a company’s strategy, governance, performance, and prospects to represent the commercial, social, and environmental context in which it works. IR aims to increase the quality of the information provided to financial capital providers, among other things, to enable more effective and productive capital allocation.

In its framework paper, the IR framework contains eight content pieces, as well as Guiding Principles and explanations of some Fundamental concepts. Aspects such as the company model, strategy and resource allocation, prognosis, and the foundation for report production and presentation are among the eight factors. Provides a framework for “broad-stroke reporting,” which is primarily valuable to investors by providing a financial value-based narrative of their company. It gives a “digested” type of report to value-seeking stakeholders, as opposed to other reporting standards/frameworks that enable the audience or stakeholder to draw their conclusions regarding an organization’s sustainability.

5. Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Guidance

Monitoring and comprehending their environmental effect, it assists investors, corporations, and communities in focusing on taking immediate action to establish a truly sustainable economy. Companies all across the globe are being convinced to monitor, manage, disclose, and eventually cut their greenhouse gas emissions thanks to CDP. Climate, Water, and Forests are the three areas of focus for the guideline, and cities, corporations, investors, governments, and regions are encouraged to report on any or all of them. The advice comes in the form of a questionnaire that may be completed online on the CDP website for each target area. CDP has now implemented a rating system based on the examination of its respondents’ replies. CDP promotes a system of sustainability disclosure and openness among businesses and communities, allowing them to benchmark, measure, and manage their environmental risks while also enhancing their brand reputation, boosting operational efficiency, and cutting costs.


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