Environmental fines (G4-EN29-a) Methodology

In 2018, the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were superseded by the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI standards). This is the methodology for G4-EN9-a which has been superseded by GRI 307-1 - the current GRI 307-1 metric can be found here.


This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers one of the reporting requirements of Indicator G4-EN29 – ‘Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations’.

This Indicator is broader than depicted within this metric description. It also asks for G4-EN29-a – ‘Total number of non-monetary sanctions, cases brought through dispute resolution mechanisms’ - and G4-EN29-b – ‘Where organizations have not identified any non-compliance with laws or regulations, a brief statement of this fact is sufficient’.

The level of non-compliance within the organization helps indicate the ability of management to ensure that operations conform to certain performance parameters. From an economic perspective, ensuring compliance helps to reduce financial risks that occur either directly or indirectly. In some circumstances, non-compliance can lead to clean-up obligations or other costly environmental liabilities. The strength of the organization’s compliance record can also affect its ability to expand operations or gain permits.


This metric is looking for how much the company has been fined for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations in US dollars:

For WikiRate researchers:

Companies who align reports to GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards often include a GRI Content Index or Annex where GRI disclosures, with GRI codes, are listed.

  • Use the GRI Index, CTRL F, Command F or search button on source preview to search for this index and metrics within the report

  • Use G4 codes, G3 codes or keywords to quickly find values, keeping in mind that some companies report on the metric using different terms, e.g. G4-EN29 or EN29, fines or environmental fines

  • Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value

  • Add comments documenting exactly where within the source you found the information (page number) and include details of simple or complex calculations or conversions made to determine the metric value

  • If you are unable to locate a metric value in a source you can search for additional sources where the data is available and add a new source

Further guidance on how to research values for GRI-based metrics is available here, including detailed guidance on adding, editing and checking metric values.

Global Reporting Initiative compliance guidance for companies:

To calculate the monetary value of significant fines - G4-EN29-a:

  • Identify administrative or judicial sanctions for failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations, including, as a minimum:

    • International declarations, conventions, and treaties, as well as national, sub-national, regional, and local regulations

    • Voluntary environmental agreements with regulating authorities that are considered binding and developed as a substitute for implementing new regulations. In certain jurisdictions, such agreements are referred to as 'covenants'

    • Cases brought against the organization through the use of international dispute mechanisms or national dispute mechanisms supervised by government authorities

  • Calculate the total monetary value of significant fines