Second Public Comment Period for the Revised GRI 303: Water Standard

The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) is pleased to announce a second public comment period for the revised GRI 303: Water Standard. This Standard – currently being updated through the GSSB’s formal due process – has been assessed and revised by an expert multi-stakeholder Project Working Group to reflect global best practice in water management and sustainability reporting.

The first public consultation on the draft was held between 10 August and 9 October 2017. Due to the extent of public feedback received and changes made to the draft, the GSSB has decided to publish the draft for a second public consultation. Running from 20 December 2017 until 18 February 2018, this 60-day public consultation invites feedback on the further revised Standard from all GRI stakeholders.

Key changes to the revised draft Standard

  • Simplified disclosures by changing their structure
    – Separated water consumption disclosures from water withdrawal disclosure.
    – Re-allocated contents of Disclosure 303-4 (Impacts in the supply chain and relate to products and services) throughout the Standard.
  • Removed Disclosure 303-3 (Spills and leaks), as it is not relevant exclusively to the topic of water.
  • Aligned the definition and calculation method for water consumption.
  • Changed quantitative water discharge information reporting requirements to company-wide narratives.
  • Added a requirement to report water discharge to areas with water stress, to carry the focus on impacts in areas with water stress from withdrawal to consumption and discharge.
  • Revised existing definitions, added new ones and clarified guidance throughout the Standard.

These updates are intended to improve the feasibility of reporting against the disclosures in the Standard, and to help organizations better understand and communicate their water-related impacts.

Photo by Levi XU on Unsplash