Top Five Misconceptions about GRI Reporting


The Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting Guidelines (G3.1), while widely applied, are often misunderstood. With nearly 200 pages of guidance and detailed technical protocols, it is easy to lose sight of the purpose of reporting, which is to be accountable to stakeholders and drive performance.


 1. A GRI “A” level means leadership.

The “A” is part of the GRI Application Level system that indicates the extent to which the Guidelines have been applied in sustainability reporting. A GRI “A” is not a grade or a score. According to GRI, the Application Levels “do not give an opinion on the sustainability performance of the reporting organization, the quality of the report, or on formal compliance with the G3 or G3.1 Guidelines.”

All organizations are expected to assess what is relevant for them to report – a materiality assessment. Once this is complete, a company could receive an “A” without reporting any data and stating that the reason for omission is that data is currently “not available” and will be reported at a specific future date – an acceptable alternative to reporting according to GRI. 

2. A GRI “plus” (+) signifies a rigorous assurance process

There are different methodologies for assuring data, and there are different levels of assurance....

Find the rest of the top five misconceptions about GRI Reporting at AccountAbility's site. 


Karl Pfalzgraf

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