GRI Releases Corporate Reporting Guidelines at Summit

Amidst increasing worldwide calls for improved corporate accountability, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) released its 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines at the World Summit in Johannesburg. The guidelines provide a standardized, consistent and thus comparable framework for companies to measure and report on their environmental and social performance. They are designed to complement financial reporting standards.

This is the third version of the Guidelines – the result of two years of testing and revision by hundreds of stakeholders from around the world. Representatives from business, social and environmental advocacy groups, accountancy associations, labor, government, the investment community, and others participated in working groups and pilot tests to identify indicators and related content to include in the Guidelines.

The 2000 version represents significant development of social and economic indicators, and a cross-referenced table to help readers compare reports more readily. The concept of reporting in accordance with the Guidelines is also new. This requires higher levels of transparency, coverage, and structure than informal reporting. Companies can use a range of reporting options that allow them gradually enhance the quality of their reports. Reports now require a signature from the board or chief executive attesting to a “balanced and reasonable” report.

About 200 people attended the Summit launch; a half-day GRI seminar on “Measurement, Transparency, and Accountability.” Speakers included: Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Honourable Mervyn King, Chair of the South African King Committee on Corporate Governance; Klaus Tpfer, Executive Director of UNEP; Yolanda Kakabadse, President of IUCN; Nyameko Barney Pityana, and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa.

GRI is accelerating establishment of a disclosure framework for reporting information now absent from conventional corporate financial reports, such as environmental impacts, labor practices, human rights and corruption policies, and economic relationships with suppliers. Its goal is to elevate reporting on environmental and social performance to routine practice and to the highest standards of rigor and comparability.

More than 140 pioneering companies worldwide have used the GRI Guidelines including BASF, British Telecom, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Canon, Co-operative Bank, Danone, Electrolux, Ford, GM, KLM, NEC, Nike, Novo Group, Nokia, SAB Miller, and Shell.

There is a call for nominations for 24 of the 60 members of the GRI Stakeholder Council open until November 15. The Stakeholder Council debates key issues and advises the GRI Board of Directors. It plays a role in Board selection and in regional profile building. The initial 36 members will review nominations to fill the remaining slots. Stakeholders from regions under-represented are encouraged to apply: Africa (business), Asia/Pacific (civil society), Latin America (mediating institutions) and West Asia (business and civil society).

You can also participate in a dialogue on the web site: [sorry this link is no longer available]

GRI is moving into its new headquarters in Amsterdam this month, September.

2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines: [sorry this link is no longer available]
A list of companies using the Guidelines: [sorry this link is no longer available]

(Visited 18 times, 3 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *