Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Global Reporting Initiative said Monday they are joining forces to help sustainability data users understand the similarities and differences in their respective standards.
SASB and GRI provide compatible standards for sustainability reporting that vary by purpose and approach to materiality.
SASB 's 77 industry-specific standards identify sustainability-related risks and opportunities most likely to affect a company's financial condition, operating performance or risk profile.
GRI standards focus on the economic, environmental and social impacts of a company, and positive or negative contributions toward sustainable development. Users of GRI standards identify the issues most important to their stakeholders.
Under the collaborative work plan, SASB and GRI will demonstrate how some companies have used both sets of standards together and the lessons that can be shared. The collaboration will first focus on delivering later this year communication materials to help stakeholders understand how the standards may be used concurrently, including examples based on real-world reports.
The collaboration is timely because the coronavirus pandemic has shown how non-financial information can have financial implications for companies, SASB CEO Janine Guillot said in a statement. "In a post-COVID world, companies will increasingly be expected to disclose their performance on a range of ESG topics."
GRI CEO Tim Mohin said in the same statement: "Investors, policymakers, civil society and other stakeholders are demanding improved disclosure of information on sustainability impacts, including those likely to drive risk and opportunity in both the short and long term."