Review of the Universal Standards

Improving the quality and consistency of sustainability reporting

Why an update

A major update to the GRI Standards is currently underway. The GSSB has started a project to review GRI’s Universal Standards, which consist of GRI 101: Foundation 2016, GRI 102: General Disclosures 2016 and GRI 103: Management Approach 2016. The revisions seek to improve the quality and consistency of reporting and to improve how organizations use the Standards to disclose their impacts on the economy, environment, and people. 

This GSSB is committed to the continuous improvement of the Standards and will include the recommendations arising from the current review of GRI’s human rights-related Standards (see project page).


Watch our introductory video to understand the proposed changes to GRI’s Universal Standards

About the project

The GSSB initiated project to consist of GRI 101: Foundation 2016, GRI 102: General Disclosures 2016 and GRI 103: Management Approach 2016.

The project focuses on the following areas:

    • incorporation of human rights disclosures into the GRI Standards
    • incorporation of due diligence concept into GRI 103: Management Approach 2016
    • consideration of revisions to reporting principles and concepts in GRI 101: Foundation 2016
    • consideration of revisions to the reporting model in GRI 101: Foundation 2016 (principally the in accordance criteria), and
    • consideration of revisions to GRI 102: General Disclosures 2016.

An exposure draft was made available for a 90-day public comment period between 11 June and 9 September 2020 which received 144 submissions from organizations and individuals. Responses received on the exposure draft have now been published.

The GSSB is now reviewing comments as per the GSSB Due Process Protocol. An updated timeline of the project will be published in the coming months. 

The project follows the GSSB’s Due Process Protocol, the implementation of which is overseen by the Due Process Oversight Committee. The project proposal can be found here

Project timeline

This timeline is subject to change 

March 2019: Project commencement 

March-July 2019: Preliminary research and scoping survey

September 2019- May 2020: Development of proposed changes and targeted consultations 

June - September 2020: Public comment period  

Q3 2020-Q1 2021: Consideration of received comments and revisions  

2H 2021: The expected release of updated Universal Standards 



Related documents

GSSB Due Process Protocol 2018 file 18 Oct 2018 English 213 KB
GSSB Terms of Reference file 18 Oct 2018 English 108 KB
GSSB Work Program 2020-2022 file 01 Dec 2020 English 146 KB
GRI Universal Standards project exposure draft file 19 Sep 2020 English 4.1 MB
GRI Universal Standards Project – Project proposal file 19 Sep 2020 English 289 KB

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