GRI launches GRI Taxonomy 2013 to support digital disclosure of sustainability information

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 7 November 2013

Today (7 November) GRI launches the GRI Taxonomy 2013 that has been fully updated for use with G4, GRI’s latest version of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
The GRI Taxonomy 2013 is designed to give organizations better control over the quality and integrity of their sustainability performance data and has been developed in collaboration with Deloitte. The GRI Taxonomy 2013 enables organizations to produce digital sustainability reports using the G4, G3.1 and G3 versions of the GRI Guidelines by tagging their sustainability data to make it machine-readable.
The GRI Taxonomy 2013 is developed using XBRL, which stands for eXtensible Business Reporting Language. XBRL is the de facto standard for digital reporting in the financial reporting domain. With the GRI Taxonomy 2013 non-financial sustainability information can also be disclosed digitally to an organization’s stakeholders.

By tagging the data once, organizations can help ensure the quality and integrity of sustainability performance data. This in turn will help investors, auditors and other report users to access and compare GRI data more quickly and easily without the need for excessive manual work.
By eliminating the need for report users to re-key data from printed reports, XBRL greatly reduces the risk of error in re-used data. More reliable data helps organizations make smarter decisions, and to set and monitor sustainability targets and influence sustainability behavior both within the organization and among its suppliers.
To help ensure the quality and robustness of the GRI Taxonomy 2013, an exposure draft was reviewed and tested by stakeholders as part of a public comment period from September to October 2013.
Elina Sviklina, Manager of GRI Reporting Services, said: “The GRI Taxonomy 2013 is for any organization that wants greater reliability and consistency of sustainability performance information. It also enables faster data collection, aggregation and sorting analysis, and enhances the ability to customize reporting to meet the specific needs of information users.
“By embracing the innovations of G4, organizations have the opportunity to position their business at the vanguard of sustainability reporting for the next reporting cycle. The GRI taxonomy 2013 enables reporting organizations to apply the advantages of digital reporting to the latest iteration of the G4 Guidelines, which have been revised and enhanced in order to reflect important current and future trends in the sustainability reporting landscape.”
Dave van den Ende, XBRL Leader at Deloitte Netherlands, added: “The GRI Taxonomy 2013 enables investors and stakeholders to access and compare sustainability data from companies far easier without the need to go through the whole sustainability report. At the same time it benefits companies in providing better control over the way sustainability information is interpreted by users of their sustainability report and in collecting the data from inside their organization.”
The main benefits of using the GRI Taxonomy 2013 in sustainability reporting include:
• Greater reliability and consistency of information
• Faster data collection, aggregation, and analysis
• Enhanced ability to customize reporting to meet the specific needs of information users such as investors and analysts
• Compatibility with financial reporting systems and requirements