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 GRI, provider of the leading global sustainability standards. 

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 organizations 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.

This is about fundamentally challenging the perception of waste, from an unwanted residue to a valuable resource

Tim Mohin, GRI Chief Executive, 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.”

GRI 306: Waste 2020 supports organisations to:

  • Understand and publicly report how procurement, design and use of materials lead to waste-related impacts.
  • Provide comprehensive insights into the quantity and quality of waste – including its causes, where it is generated and how impacts are managed.
  • Identify and report on circularity and waste prevention opportunities and actions.
  • Assess and take responsibility for waste generated throughout the value chain, both upstream and downstream.

Judy Kuszewski is chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board – the independent body responsible for developing and implementing the GRI Standards.

She 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.”

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