Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) releases new waste standard

Launch of sustainability standard to challenge status quo on waste.

Organisations now have the means to disclose a complete picture of the waste impacts in their activities, products and services – following the launch of a new reporting standard by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

GRI is the independent international organisation that helps businesses, governments other organisations understand and communicate their impacts.

The GRI Waste Standard changes how companies measure and understand waste, responding to global concerns about increases in waste generation and the impact on the environment, society and the economy. It encourages companies to prevent waste at source and unlock opportunities for circular business practices.

GRI 306: Waste 2020, which updates previous GRI disclosures on waste, requires organisations to report on waste generated throughout the value chain, and release detailed information on its composition and how it is managed. Developed by a multi-stakeholder group of experts, it is now freely available as part of the GRI Standards.

Tim Mohin, GRI CEO, said: “As the disruption to systems and supply chains caused by COVID-19 has shown, companies need to re-think how they do business if they are to be resilient. The time is right – in fact, overdue – for a shift to more sustainable practices. GRI’s new Waste Standard will enable organisations to critically assess waste generation and be a driver for improvement.

“This is about fundamentally challenging the perception of waste, from an unwanted residue to a valuable resource. Our Waste Standard supports this by providing universally applicable best practice on managing waste impacts in a way that raises ambition for circularity.”

Judy Kuszewski, chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board – the independent body responsible for developing and implementing the GRI Standards, said: “This is the disclosure standard that the world needs. It reflects the transition from an outdated ‘take, make, waste’ industrial model to one that that designs out waste and minimises its impacts. The GRI Waste Standard will help any forward-thinking organisation demonstrate to stakeholders – such as communities, customers, investors and governments – that they have a holistic and progressive approach to waste.”

The GRI Waste Standard updates, expands and replaces GRI 306: Effluents & Waste 2016. The content was developed by a 15-member expert working group and underwent an open public comment period in 2019.

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