• ​Explain the process for defining the report content and the Aspect Boundaries.

  • ​Explain how the organization has implemented the Reporting Principles for Defining Report Content.

To begin the process of defining the content of a report, the organization is required to select material Aspects (for an overview of G4 Aspects, click here)

This section describes the steps that the organization may follow, using the Reporting Principles for Defining Report Content, to identify material Aspects and their material impacts.

After this identification, the organization will be able to define the Indicators and Disclosures on Management Approach (DMA) to be reported.

Important initial definitions
In the Guidelines:
  • The range of Aspects covered in a report is called the ‘Scope’
  • The description of where impacts occur for each material Aspect is called ‘Aspect Boundary’
  • ‘Topic’ refers to any possible sustainability subject. The word ‘Aspect’ is used in the Guidelines to refer to the list of subjects covered by the Guidelines, for which GRI Indicators and DMA have been developed
Important initial remarks
  • It is crucial to document the process for defining report content, including the organization’s methodologies, assumptions, and decisions taken. Accurate records facilitate analysis and assurance, help to fulfill the General Standard Disclosures in the section ‘Identified Material Aspects and Boundaries’, and enable the organization to explain its chosen approach
  • Inevitably, the process for defining report content requires subjective judgments. The organization is expected to be transparent about its judgments. This enables internal and external stakeholders to understand the process for defining report content. The organization’s senior decision-makers are expected to be actively involved in the process for defining report content, and should approve any associated strategic decisions

Defining Material Aspects and Boundaries: the Process

Step 1: Identification

Step 2: Prioritization

Step 3: Validation

Step 4: Review

Process for Defining Report Content - Summary