In 2018, the GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were superseded by the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI standards).
This Metric is part of a standard set of indicators outlined in the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standard (GRI Standards) Guidelines. These Standards are designed to be used by organizations to report about their impacts on the economy, the environment, and society. The full set can be downloaded at www.globalreporting.org/standards/.
For this metric covering nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX), among other significant air emissions, the code G4-EN21 is used in company reporting prior to 2018, and the new code GRI 305-7 is used in reporting from 2018 onwards. The methodology for the former G4 standard for this metric can be found here.
In the context of the GRI Standards, the environmental dimension of sustainability concerns an organization’s impacts on living and non-living natural systems, including land, air, water and ecosystems. GRI 305 addresses emissions into air, which are the discharge of substances from a source into the atmosphere. Types of emissions include: greenhouse gas (GHG), ozone-depleting substances (ODS), and nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX), among other significant air emissions.
Pollutants such as NOX and SOX have adverse effects on climate, ecosystems, air quality, habitats, agriculture, and human and animal health. Deterioration of air quality, acidification, forest degradation and public health concerns have led to local and international regulations to control emissions of these pollutants.
Reductions in the emission of regulated pollutants lead to improved health conditions for workers and local communities and can enhance relations with affected stakeholders. In regions with emission caps, the volume of emissions also has direct cost implications.
Other significant air emissions include, for example, persistent organic pollutants or particulate matter, as well as air emissions that are regulated under international conventions and/or national laws or regulations, including those listed on an organization’s environmental permits.