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Differences between GRI, CDP and CSRD

What's up with all these acronyms?
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and the EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) are three distinct frameworks aimed at promoting corporate sustainability reporting and transparency. Here's a brief overview of the differences between these frameworks:
  1. 1.
    Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): GRI is an independent international organization that provides a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework used voluntarily by businesses and other organizations worldwide. GRI standards cover a wide range of sustainability topics, including economic, environmental, and social aspects.
Key differences:
  • Voluntary and widely used internationally.
  • Broad range of sustainability topics, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
  • Provides a flexible reporting framework to accommodate organizations of different sizes and industries.
  1. 2.
    Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP): CDP is a non-profit organization that focuses on the disclosure of climate change, water security, and deforestation data. CDP runs a global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts.
Key differences:
  • Voluntary and focused on environmental disclosure, primarily related to climate change, water security, and deforestation.
  • Emphasizes investor-driven disclosure to encourage businesses to manage and reduce their environmental risks.
  • Provides an annual questionnaire that organizations complete, which is then assessed, scored, and benchmarked.
  1. 3.
    EU's Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD): The CSRD is a regulatory framework proposed by the European Commission to strengthen and expand the existing Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The CSRD aims to mandate sustainability reporting for larger companies and specific categories of businesses operating in the European Union.
Key differences:
  • Mandatory for certain companies within the European Union.
  • Requires companies to report in line with the European Single Access Point (ESAP) and the EU Taxonomy.
  • The scope of the reporting is expected to be comprehensive, covering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.
  • The directive will impact a large number of companies in the EU, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with more than 500 employees and all listed companies.
In summary, while GRI and CDP are voluntary frameworks with different areas of focus (GRI on a broad range of sustainability topics and CDP primarily on environmental issues), the EU's CSRD is a regulatory directive mandating sustainability reporting for a large number of companies operating within the European Union.