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GRI, CDP Guidance Helps Companies Report Climate Impacts

GRI logoThe Global Reporting Initiative and CDP have released their latest linkage guidance to help companies report on their climate-related impacts and avoid duplicating their disclosure efforts.

Thousands of companies use GRI’s sustainability reporting guidelines and respond to CDP’s climate change questionnaire every year. The two reporting organizations first published a guide showing how GRI’s G4 Guidelines and CDP’s climate change questions are aligned last year.

The global cost of climate change impacts will reach between $2 trillion and $4 trillion by 2030, according to estimates by the International Finance Corporation and Carbon Trust.

The updated documents from GRI and CDP will enable companies to report on their climate change and water impacts and take steps to reduce these impacts, the two organizations say.

The latest guidance follows the Paris climate agreement reached at COP21, which set a new target for organizations and governments to take action to reduce their impacts on climate change to ensure global warming stays well below the 2-degrees Celsius threshold.

Both GRI and CDP were also invited to share insights at the February meeting of the newly established Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, which was formed during COP21 by the Financial Stability Board. The aim of the taskforce is to drive the climate agenda forward and improve climate-related disclosures from listed companies around the world.

“The alignment between GRI and CDP on climate change and water disclosure facilitates more consistent corporate reporting on these physical, regulatory and reputational risks, and their sources, whilst reducing the reporting burden for companies,” says Pedro Faria, technical director at CDP. “This also enables financial stakeholders to better understand and compare how businesses are managing climate-related issues for a resilient future.”

Since 1997, GRI has provided metrics on climate change and these disclosures are among the most frequently reported by organizations that use GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards. Of all the reports held in the GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database for 2015, 21 percent (more than 3,000) reported on climate-related impacts using both CDP and GRI. The US saw the highest share of reports referencing both GRI and CDP — 55 percent during 2015 — and these figures are expected to increase as more organizations begin monitoring their impacts on climate-related issues.

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