The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced today plans to launch a new Sustainability Innovation Lab (SIL), alongside the IFRS Foundation as its Convening Partner, a new initiative aimed at helping to enable companies to meet evolving sustainability disclosure requirements.

According to GRI CEO Eelco van der Enden, the new initiative comes as companies face a “sustainability capacity and expertise gap” amid increasing requirements to report on their sustainability performance across the value chain.

van der Enden added:

“Our new innovation lab aims to close that gap, allowing organisations to streamline and improve their reporting output. We appreciate the partnership with the IFRS Foundation for this initiative and their commitment to working with GRI to facilitate the advancement of sustainability reporting for all.”

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are one of the most commonly accepted global standards for sustainability reporting by companies, developed to enable consistent reporting across companies and industries, providing clearer communication to stakeholders regarding sustainability matters. The GRI published a major update of the standards in 2021.

The IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standard Board (ISSB) launched  its inaugural general sustainability (IFRS 1) and climate (IFRS 2) reporting standards in June 2023, and the new standards are expected to inform emerging disclosure requirement systems from many regulators globally.

According to the GRI, the new SIL will bring together global and local partners to advance capabilities for reporting using the GRI Standards and the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, providing a venue for collaboration with GRI and ISSB representatives, and other key stakeholders to identify emerging sustainability disclosure topics, developing concepts, best practices and data-driven solutions. The SIL will also provide capacity building for supply chain participants that are being asked to meet new information demands.

The SIL will be based in Singapore, and initially be supported by offices throughout Asia, operated by the GRI ASEAN Network and managed by a steering committee that is led by senior representatives from GRI and the IFRS Foundation. The organizations added that working groups are being established to focus on four priority areas, including digital taxonomies, audit and assurance, smaller companies, and public sector reporting.

ISSB Chair Emmanuel Faber, said:

“The IFRS Foundation continues to work closely with GRI on two tracks, firstly, to make it straightforward for companies using both the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards and the GRI Standards, and secondly to support innovation and knowledge building in the disclosure landscape. The SIL provides a very welcome avenue for us to advance our cooperation.”