Five ESG Reporting Frameworks & How They Help Your Business Grow

July 16, 2021


80% of N100 firms across the globe are now reporting on sustainability.


Because sustainability reporting impacts a firm’s ability to access capital and attract new investors. There is no denying new laws and regulations in many countries have put pressure on firms to adopt sustainability reporting standards. But an increasing understanding of the power environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have on financial performance and corporate value has also played an integral part in the uptake of sustainability reporting.

The rise in the popularity of sustainability reporting over the years has also paved the way for the introduction of several different sustainability reporting frameworks that can help your firm report on its environmental impact in a credible and meaningful way.

From the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP,) the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management experts at SINAI explore five types of sustainability reporting frameworks that can help your firm grow in 2021.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The GRI is an international and independent organization that has led the way in sustainability reporting for nearly 25 years. The GRI Standards are one of, if not the most popular sustainability reporting frameworks used by firms to disclose both the positive and negative impact their business has on the environment, the economy, and society.

The GRI designed its standards to be universally suitable for large and small organizations in all types of sectors and industries worldwide. Find out everything you need to know about GRI Standards by reading our recent blog.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

Established in 2011, the SASB’s primary focus is developing standards that assist firms in communicating sustainability information to investors. In other words, SASB’s standards help companies collect and share vital data that affect the firm’s business decisions and clearly explain the financial impact of sustainability.

Towards the end of 2020, the GRI and SASB announced they would be joining forces to promote greater transparency and trust among reporting firms. In April 2021, the two well-known frameworks published research findings and a practical guide aimed at firms considering using the two frameworks together. While the GRI standards are known for their larger, global scope, without any sector-specifics; the SASB guidelines allow firms to dive deeper into industry-specific information and data with a financial lens.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

The CDP is an international non-profit that helps companies and governments reduce their GHG emissions, preserve water resources, and safeguard forests. Over 8,400 firms with upwards of 50% global market capitalization disclosed their sustainability data using CDP’s framework in 2019. In addition, over 920 cities, states, and regions disclosed through CDP, making their sustainability reporting standards and accompanying data one of the most comprehensive sources of information on how firms and governments are driving decarbonization and environmental protection globally.

Similar to the SASB, the CDP announced plans to work in collaboration with other popular frameworks, including the GRI and the SASB, on a shared vision for what is needed to reach more robust corporate sustainability reporting.

The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The TCFD was established in 2015 by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to create consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by firms with a predominantly financial-learning interest, including banks, shareholders, and investors.

The TCFD focuses specifically on assisting firms in disclosing information about the financial impacts related to climate change risks and opportunities. In contrast, GRI’s Standards focus on helping firms communicate about their impacts relating to climate change and other sustainability topics, including emissions, labor, human rights, and more, along with how they manage these impacts.

While the TCFD identifies investors as an appropriate target audience, GRI explains its standards designed for a broader range of critical stakeholders.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Coming into effect in April 2019, SECR replaces several of the UK Government initiatives covering carbon and energy reporting and taxation. The UK Government launched SECR in order for firms based in the UK to report on their carbon emissions and energy usage on a yearly basis, with mounting pressure on the country to meet its climate change targets.

SECR aims to integrate existing reporting, removing the numerous carbon reports with different reporting dates that existed and - as the name of the framework suggests - streamline financial reporting years for greater consistency. SECR also aims to make it easier for firms to monitor and achieve reductions in carbon and cost per year.

Multiple sustainability reporting frameworks, one powerful platform

No matter what sustainability reporting guidance your firm is following or considering, SINAI’s cutting-edge software solution can help you track and report your carbon emissions with ease.  

From transportation, utilities, and consumer goods, to industrials and real estate, our expertise in sector-specific decarbonization makes us a trusted partner with firms striving to achieve their net-zero targets.

We’ve developed the world’s first decarbonization platform that goes beyond the standard GHG emissions inventories and reporting offered by other GHG emissions management software providers. SINAI gives industry-leading firms the ability to undertake granular-level data modeling and numerous database opportunities, including mitigation options and emissions factors. Request a demo of our software today to see how SINAI can help your business grow.

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