Linking GRI Standards with the SDGs

Linking GRI Standards with the SDGs

"Reporting is a Living Cycle of Continuous Improvement"


Sustainability doesn’t just refer to the environment, it needs to be implemented in many other ways too. In this sense, it is important to note there are various forms of sustainability. It is divided is 3 groups Economic, Environmental, and Social – informally known as Profits, Planet, and People (PPP).

The ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance. These three broad areas  helps to improve its sustainability and lower its risk level across various factors. They include aspects like inclusion and diversity, climate change, human rights and more. 

SDGs is Sustainable Development Goals it seek to end extreme poverty in all its forms and to have in place the building blocks of sustained prosperity. The success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all players including governments at the national and subnational levels, in addition to civil society and the private sector. The UN has defined 17 SDGs that it believes will provide a better future for the world’s population and which it wants to achieve by 2030.

A strong ESG spirit, can have direct link to all dimensions of sustainability, ESG reveals benchmarks to help you learn how to make a real impact on your level of social responsibility and develop strategies for improvement, while aligning ESG with areas highlighted by the United Nations also helps companies contribute to the SDGs.

Engaging with the SDGs

Adopted by all 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015, the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals focus global efforts and attention on 17 pressing issues. The private sector plays an important role in providing solutions who can contribute to solving these challenges, while create new business opportunities. 

SDGs are expected to generate at least 12 trillion US dollars market opportunities by 2030. By identifying and reduce risks to people and the environment and provide new products and services to support development, companies can gain benefits for themselves and for the markets they depend on. 

The SDGs are becoming increasingly important to investors, because they are one of the pressing environmental, social and economic issues and so act as a final list of important ESG factors(environmental, social and governance) must be taken into account as part of the investor fiduciary duty have a strong business case to invest in into opportunities relevant to the SDGs, including helping investors get stable returns, better representation of stocks of their customers and provide sustainable financial products differentiate them in the market.

Are they important ?

Why not !  People have tried all possible ways to save our Planet in an increasingly uncertain world, Staying resilient is no longer enough, so now is the time for true sustainability importance and it lies in the fact that both GRI and SDG focus on long-term solutions.

All of this is not just for the survival of human life but to thrive, this roadmap can lead a sustainable future for the coming generations.

Steps involved in Mapping GRI into SDGs

Mapping the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help organizations align their sustainability reporting with the global agenda for sustainable development. Here are some steps organizations can take to map GRI Standards to the SDGs:

  1. Review the SDGs: Familiarize yourself with the 17 SDGs and their associated targets.

  2. Identify relevant SDGs: Identify which SDGs are most relevant to your organization’s operations and impact.

  3. Review the GRI Standards: Review the GRI Standards and identify which disclosures align with the SDGs you have identified as relevant.

  4. Map the GRI Standards to the SDGs: Create a mapping document that shows the alignment between the GRI Standards and the SDGs.

  5. Use the mapping to guide reporting: Use the mapping document as a guide to help ensure that your organization’s sustainability report covers all of the relevant information required by both the GRI Standards and the SDGs.

  6. Use SDG language and indicators: Use the language and indicators of the SDGs in your report to enhance the comparability with other organization’s report and make it more meaningful for stakeholders.

By following these steps, organizations can ensure that their sustainability reporting is aligned with the global agenda for sustainable development, and that their reporting is comprehensive and comparable.


Mapping GRI to 17 SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the roadmap to a sustainable future. Led by the UN and supported by governments and organizations around the world, the SDGs garner collective action to tackle the world’s most pressing problems. 

Mapping GRI in SDGs -
Mapping GRI in SDGs - image by Author

Essential tools for integrating the SDGs into your reporting include: GRI – SDG

Other Integrating SDGs into sustainability reporting : 


GRI also provides SDG mapping service to align sustainability reporting, the mapping service makes the SDGs included in your reported information easily traceable and accurately mapped to GRI standards, so you can highlight your company’s contribution to these global goals.

SDG Mapping service can be  opted with additional along with content index (Universal Standards 2021), for pricing information access our policy here.

The SDG Compass is also a useful resource. It was developed by GRI, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It guides companies in aligning their strategies with the SDGs and enhancing their contribution to sustainable development through core business activities.

GRI links between Material topics and the SDGs

Since the SDGs and targets associated with them are integrated and indivisible, around 40+ organization like eg. oil and gas , Coal, Mining, Agriculture , Aquaculture etc, Energy is a key driver of economic growth and sustainable development. Oil and gas have been fundamental sources of the world’s energy, contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction. 

The oil and gas sector is particularly relevant to achieving Goal 13: Climate Action and, given the potential impact of climate change on the development agenda, this will influence the achievement of every goal, while contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

which are the highest impact on the environment have the potential to contribute to all SDGs by enhancing their positive impacts, or by preventing and mitigating their negative  impacts, on the economy, environment, and people.

Currently, oil and gas are the world’s most actively traded commodities. Together, they represent the most important resources for electricity production, providing over 50% of the total supply. In 2020, 90% of the transportation sector’s energy needs were met by oil products. The oil and gas sector today also meets much of society’s needs for raw materials used in the production of specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, and polymers.

Materiality mapping of - Oil and Gas Sector 2021 -


ESG Consultant / BD / Author @
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