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Mar 03, 2023

Data collection for GRI Biodiversity Standard remains challenging, says Norges Bank

Company issues response to public consultation exposure draft

Norges Bank Investment Management has welcomed the revisions to the GRI Biodiversity Standard but says collecting data from suppliers may remain challenging.

In a letter to the Global Sustainability Standards Board, the investment management division of the Norwegian Central Bank says the challenge refers to ‘complex supply chains and lack of direct control’ over business partners.

Data collection for GRI Biodiversity Standard remains challenging, says Norges Bank
Snorre Gjerde, Norges Bank Investment Management

The letter is a response to the board’s public consultation on the exposure draft of the revised GRI Biodiversity Standard, first published on December 5, 2022.

It finds that while the investment division recognizes and supports the GRI’s intention toward sustainability reporting standards, the firm encourages the GRI to consider how the standard can take ‘more fully positive’ impacts and biodiversity gains into consideration.

‘Broader environmental and social consequences’

To help companies get to better grips with the changes, the GRI could look at the ‘locate, evaluate, assess and prepare’ (Leap) approach, under development by the TNFD, the firm explains.

The Leap approach, which aims to provide voluntary guidance and support companies in their nature-related risk and opportunity assessment, could help preparers in this prioritization exercise, says the firm.

Data collection for GRI Biodiversity Standard remains a challenge, says Norges Bank
Carine Smith Ihenacho, Norges Bank Investment Management

The letter is written by Norges staffers Carine Smith Ihenacho, chief governance and compliance officer, Elisa Cencig, senior ESG policy adviser and Snorre Gjerde, lead investment stewardship manager.

It reads: ‘Interoperability among standards helps ensure comparability and consistency of disclosure across companies and reduce duplicative reporting requirements, in turn providing decision-useful information for investors and other stakeholders.

‘While our starting point as an investor in assessing companies’ sustainability information is financial materiality, we encourage companies to disclose the broader environmental and social consequences of business operations, and to use GRI standards in doing so.’