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aGRIgate: A Path to Transparency Reporting





By Yancey Laurente and Yana Yu


THE GLOBAL Reporting Initiative or GRI is a non-profit organization that has developed the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework. The GRI provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and indicators for organizations to measure and report their economic, environmental, social, and governance performance. 

Its reporting framework is designed to help organizations assess their impacts on sustainable development and communicate this information to stakeholders effectively. The GRI framework consists of reporting principles, standard disclosures, and performance indicators. These guidelines cover a wide range of sustainability topics, including governance, human rights, labor practices, greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, product responsibility, and community engagement, among others. 

The GRI has gained global recognition and acceptance as the de facto standard for sustainability reporting. Thousands of organizations, including companies, governments, and non-profit organizations, use the GRI guidelines to report their sustainability efforts. The GRI’s reporting framework is regularly updated to align with emerging sustainability trends, global reporting standards, and stakeholder expectations. By using the GRI framework, organizations can structure their sustainability reporting in a consistent and comparable manner, enabling stakeholders to understand their performance, progress, and challenges in relation to sustainability issues. The GRI also encourages organizations to set targets, manage risks, and improve their sustainability performance over time.

The Transition to Comply with the GRI Standard

Transitioning and preparing to comply with the GRI can involve several challenges and a structured process. Here are some common struggles and steps organizations may encounter during this transition:

  1. Understanding the GRI Guidelines: The GRI framework can be complex, especially for organizations new to sustainability reporting. The guidelines consist of reporting principles, standard disclosures, and performance indicators. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the GRI framework and understand its requirements and expectations.
  2. Assessing Materiality: GRI reporting emphasizes the identification and disclosure of material sustainability topics. Materiality refers to the issues that are most significant to an organization and its stakeholders. Conducting a materiality assessment helps identify the key sustainability topics that should be addressed in your reporting. This process may involve stakeholder engagement, internal assessments, and benchmarking against industry peers.
  3. Data Collection and Management: Gathering the necessary data to report on sustainability indicators can be a significant challenge. It requires establishing robust data collection processes, ensuring data accuracy and reliability, and integrating sustainability data into existing systems. This may involve engaging different departments, implementing data management tools, and establishing data governance practices.
  4. Setting Performance Targets: The GRI encourages organizations to set targets and measure their progress over time. Defining meaningful and achievable sustainability targets can be a complex task. It requires analyzing the current performance, aligning with industry best practices and standards, and considering the organization’s long-term sustainability goals.
  5. Stakeholder Engagement: Transparent and meaningful sustainability reporting involves engaging with stakeholders. Organizations may struggle with identifying and involving relevant stakeholders, determining the appropriate level of engagement, and effectively communicating with them. Engaging stakeholders can provide valuable insights, enhance credibility, and ensure the relevance of reported information.
  6. Reporting Alignment and Integration: Organizations often have existing reporting processes and frameworks in place. Integrating the GRI reporting requirements with existing reporting efforts can be a challenge. It may require mapping existing indicators to GRI disclosures, integrating sustainability reporting into annual reports or corporate social responsibility reports, and aligning with other reporting frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or industry-specific standards.
  7. Continuous Improvement: Sustainability reporting is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. Organizations should regularly review and update their reporting practices to align with new GRI guidelines, emerging sustainability trends, and stakeholder expectations. 

To navigate these challenges and transition smoothly to comply with the GRI, organizations can seek external support from sustainability consultants, engage employees across departments, establish a dedicated sustainability team, and develop a clear roadmap for implementation. 

The Crafting of P&A’s Sustainability Data Collection Tool 

Transparency is one of the most valued aspects of GRI, but consistency also paves the way to effective communication and long-term viability. P&A has taken initiatives in developing a data collection tool that will sufficiently help disclose the company’s non-financial information, its sustainability, and its economic, environmental, social, and governance (EESG) activities. The template will assist in navigating what information needs to be disclosed, as the questions formulated in the tool are in accordance with the GRI standards.

Updated Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Policy

Recently, for compliance with the GRI standards, P&A updated its approach to better manage the health and safety of the firm’s partners, staff, and visitors through its Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) policy. The risk evaluation of hazards identified in office-based tasks is at a low-medium level of risk, while for client-based tasks or fieldwork, is at a medium-high level of risk. Internally, the rules and guidelines were effective on May 18, 2023; hence, they were also adjusted to control the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, there are new signages in the office for emergency purposes, noise minimization, work extension, and work under quarantine reminders.

What’s in It for P&A?

The transparency efforts made by P&A will increasingly develop a positive relationship with its employees, resulting in an overall improvement in their productivity and efficiency. Finer possibilities extend as P&A gains competitive advantage through their sustainability journey, and this is done through compliance with the GRI standards. Thus, the disclosure of EESG activities can mitigate risk and open more opportunities, which are critical for long-term success.

Yana Yu and Yancey Laurente are both Associate Consultants from Advisory Services at P&A Grant Thornton. P&A Grant Thornton is one of the leading audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing firms in the Philippines, with 29 Partners and more than 1000 staff members. We’d like to hear from you! Tweet us: @GrantThorntonPH, like us on Facebook: P&A Grant Thornton, and email your comments to For more information, visit our website:


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