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GRI Releases Sustainability Taxonomy, Public Comments on G4

The Global Reporting Initiative has released a taxonomy for tagging sustainability data in reports and has released the results of the first public comment period on the development of G4, its future guidelines.

The XBRL taxonomy should make it easier for report users – including regulators, investors and analysts – to find and analyze data, GRI says.

Developed in conjunction with Deloitte Netherlands, XBRL, which stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is an open-source tagging language similar to the XML system used worldwide for tagging data in financial reports. By using the language, companies can make their data readable by both humans and computers, making the data more accessible and easier to transfer, GRI says.

According to the results of the public consultation on the development of its new guidelines, G4 should define sector-specific sets of topics and indicators for environmental reporting. In the new system, GRI should also offer guidance on how to link sustainability reporting and integrated reporting, comments said.

According to respondents, GRI should address some new topics in the G4 guidelines, and update some existing topics. The most popular topics mentioned include business ethics, greenhouse gas emissions, eco-innovation, life cycle assessment, water and biodiversity.

The comments summary is dated February 10, but GRI released it Friday.

GRI also released guidelines on oil and gas reporting in February. The guidelines allow oil spills, carbon emissions and safety to be reported by companies in that sector.

GRI’s own sustainability report was released earlier this month. The report showed that emissions from the body’s secretariat had increased year-on-year.

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