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The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) issued a joint statement announcing alignment of their standards. The two organizations see eye to eye on the issue of impact materiality, with EFRAG adopting GRI’s definition of impact materiality in the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The organizations are hoping that alignment of the disclosure standards will help reduce the compliance burden of companies looking to disclose under both standards. The press release states that:

“Existing GRI reporters will be well prepared to report under the ESRS given the many shared disclosures and high level of alignment achieved. A reporting entity’s material impacts are in general the starting point for identifying its related risks and opportunities which are also required under the ESRS financial materiality perspective. The GRI Standards thus support companies in complying with existing ESRS now and better prepare them to comply with future European reporting requirements.”

The press release also states that the principles of the ESRS are compatible with GRI reporting on issues that are not mandated under the CSRD, such as tax issues. This is another example of how voluntary standards and frameworks are melding with jurisdictional law as reporting becomes mandatory. This coalescing of standards is helpful, especially for companies that have been using voluntary frameworks. Cooperation between standard setters and governments reduces duplicative work for companies and improves clarity in the world of ESG disclosures.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile