GRI Reporting for Agriculture Sector

GRI Reporting for Agriculture Sector

"Enabling organizations to report on sustainable practices, land use, water management, and community engagement."

Why Agriculture?

Global Reporting Initiatives for Sector standards for agriculture aka GRI 13 are developed to address the unique sustainability challenges and opportunities specific to the agricultural sector.

 Agriculture plays a critical role in global food production, land use, water resources, biodiversity, and livelihoods of communities. By having sector-specific standards like GRI 13, organizations in the agriculture sector can effectively measure, report, and manage their environmental, social, and economic impacts. 

These standards promote transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement in sustainable agricultural practices, helping to ensure a more resilient and responsible food system for present and future generations.

Agriculture has significant environmental, social, and economic impacts, including land use, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, labour conditions, and community well-being. 

The sector standards help organizations identify and address these impacts, set meaningful targets, and track progress towards sustainable agricultural practices. They enable stakeholders to better understand the sustainability performance of agricultural operations, support informed decision-making, and foster collaboration across the value chain to drive positive change in the sector. 

By adopting sector-specific standards, the agriculture sector can enhance transparency, accountability, and ultimately contribute to the achievement of global sustainability goals.

The significance of this Standard?

The GRI Sector Standard for Agriculture (GRI 13) holds significant importance for the agriculture sector and its stakeholders. Here are some key aspects of its significance:

  1. Addressing sector-specific impacts: The standard enables organizations in the agriculture sector to identify, measure, and report on the unique sustainability impacts related to their operations, such as land use, water management, biodiversity, and community engagement.

  2. Enhancing transparency and accountability: By adopting the standard, organizations can provide transparent and reliable information on their sustainability performance, allowing stakeholders to assess their environmental, social, and economic practices and hold them accountable for their impact on the sector.

  3. Driving sustainable practices: The standard promotes the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by providing reporting guidelines and indicators. It encourages organizations to set targets, implement mitigation strategies, and continuously improve their performance in areas like resource efficiency, climate resilience, responsible sourcing, and stakeholder engagement.

  4. Stakeholder engagement and decision-making: The standard helps facilitate meaningful engagement with stakeholders, including investors, customers, communities, and regulatory bodies. The disclosed information enables informed decision-making and fosters dialogue and collaboration towards more sustainable agricultural systems.

  5. Supporting global sustainability goals: The standard aligns with international sustainability frameworks and goals, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), contributing to the collective efforts in addressing global challenges related to food security, climate change, and responsible resource management.

The GRI Sector Standard for Agriculture plays a crucial role in promoting transparency, driving sustainable practices, and facilitating the transition towards a more resilient and responsible agricultural sector. 

It empowers organizations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, while providing stakeholders with the information needed to make informed decisions and support positive change in the sector.

To what organizations does GRI 13 apply?

GRI 13, the Sector Standard for Agriculture, applies to a wide range of organizations involved in agricultural activities. This includes:

  1. Agricultural producers: Farmers, ranchers, and growers engaged in crop cultivation, livestock rearing, aquaculture, and other agricultural production activities.

  2. Food and beverage companies: Organizations involved in processing, manufacturing, and distributing food and beverage products derived from agricultural commodities.

  3. Agricultural suppliers: Companies providing inputs and services to the agricultural sector, such as seed suppliers, fertilizer manufacturers, machinery providers, and agricultural technology companies.

  4. Agricultural retailers: Businesses operating in the retail sector that sell agricultural products, including grocery stores, supermarkets, and specialized food retailers.

  5. Agricultural cooperatives: Cooperative organizations that represent and support the interests of farmers and agricultural producers, providing services and facilitating collaboration in the sector.

  6. Agricultural service providers: Companies offering consulting, advisory, and certification services related to sustainable agriculture and responsible farming practices.

  7. Financial institutions: Banks, investment firms, and insurance companies that provide financial services to the agricultural sector, including loans, investments, and risk management.

  8. NGOs and industry associations: Non-governmental organizations and industry associations working in the agricultural sector, promoting sustainability, advocacy, research, and capacity-building initiatives.

It is important to note that GRI 13 applies to organizations of varying sizes, from small family farms to large multinational corporations. The standard aims to support all organizations involved in agriculture in measuring, reporting, and improving their sustainability performance.

When will GRI 13 come into effect?

As per GSSB the effective date for GRI 13: Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fishing Sectors 2022 is 1 January 2024, which means its usage is required by organizations in the agriculture, reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards for all material published after this date.

This effective date allows sufficient time for reporters to incorporate GRI 13 into their materiality
considerations and start collecting data for any topics and/or disclosures they may not be reporting on yet.

Why are 3 sectors covered by the same Sector Standard?

The decision to cover three sectors (Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fishing) under the same Sector Standard (GRI 13) was based on several factors:

  1. Commonalities in sustainability challenges: Agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing are interconnected sectors that share similar sustainability challenges, such as resource management, biodiversity conservation, labour rights, and climate change impacts. Grouping them together allows for a comprehensive and integrated approach to addressing these shared issues.

  2. Streamlined reporting process: Combining these sectors under one standard streamlines the reporting process for organizations engaged in multiple activities. It reduces complexity and provides a unified framework for reporting on sustainability performance across different sectors within the food and agriculture value chain.

  3. Synergistic impacts: Agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing are closely linked in terms of their environmental and social impacts. For example, agricultural practices can affect water quality and ecosystems, which, in turn, can impact aquaculture operations. By addressing these sectors together, the standard aims to promote a holistic understanding of their interconnected impacts and encourage integrated sustainability management.

  4. Stakeholder expectations: Stakeholders, including investors, customers, civil society organizations, and governments, often expect organizations in the food and agriculture sector to report on their sustainability performance comprehensively. A single Sector Standard helps meet these expectations and facilitates transparent and consistent reporting.

The inclusion of multiple sectors in the same Sector Standard enables a more holistic and inclusive approach to sustainability reporting, fostering better understanding and management of the sustainability challenges faced by the agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing industries.

Can small enterprises use the GRI 13?

Yes, small enterprises can use the GRI 13 Sector Standard for reporting on their sustainability performance in the agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing sectors. The GRI standards are designed to be applicable to organizations of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The GRI 13 Sector Standard provides guidance and indicators specific to these sectors, allowing organizations to identify and disclose their most significant sustainability impacts. It helps SMEs in these sectors to assess their performance, manage their risks, and communicate their sustainability efforts to stakeholders.

While the standard provides a comprehensive framework, organizations, including small enterprises, have the flexibility to focus on the material topics and disclosures that are most relevant to their operations and stakeholder expectations. This allows for a tailored and proportionate approach to reporting, taking into account the resources and capacity of small enterprises.

By utilizing the GRI 13 Sector Standard, small enterprises can enhance their transparency, accountability, and sustainability practices, which can contribute to building trust with stakeholders, attracting investment, and meeting market expectations.

Does GRI 13 align with SASB Standards?

GRI 13 Sector Standard for Agriculture and the SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) Standards can be used together to fulfill sustainability reporting needs. While GRI focuses on providing a comprehensive framework for sustainability reporting across various sectors, SASB Standards offer industry-specific metrics and disclosure requirements.

The GRI and SASB have collaborated to develop joint guidance, known as “A Practical Guide to Sustainability Reporting Using GRI and SASB Standards.” This guide helps organizations understand the complementary nature of the two frameworks and provides insights into how they can be effectively used together.

GRI 13 provides sector-specific guidance for the agriculture, aquaculture, and fishing sectors, addressing material topics and disclosures relevant to these industries. SASB Standards, on the other hand, provide industry-specific standards and metrics for a wide range of sectors, including agriculture.

By using both GRI 13 and SASB Standards, organizations can benefit from a more comprehensive and industry-specific approach to sustainability reporting. This combined approach allows for a broader assessment of sustainability impacts, while also meeting the specific metrics and disclosure requirements expected by industry stakeholders.



ESG Consultant / BD / Author @
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