The CSR Stakeholder Forum held its second round table meeting dealing with the diversity, convergence and transparency of CSR practices and tools on 22-23 September 2003. This round table meeting focussed primarily on CSR reporting and socially responsible investment (SRI). This “transparency” round table is scheduled to meet one last time before submitting its input to the final recommendations due to be released by the Forum in summer 2004.

This two-day conference firstly tackled the issue of sustainability reporting, under the following themes, based on a number of presentations:

* The impact of reporting, based on a presentation by AccountAbility and CSR Europe;
* Benchmarking corporate sustainability reporting, presented by SustainAbility;
* The Global Reporting Initiative, whose main mission is “to make sustainability reporting as routine and valuable as financial reporting”, presented by GRI’s Strategic Development Director. BT also talked about its own experience with the GRI;
* The 2001 social and environmental law in France, presented by ORSE;
C*ompany and stakeholder experience on reporting (case study of Lafarge);
* A sectorial approach to reporting: the tour operators’ supplement to the GRI.

The second part of the round table meeting dealt with socially responsible investment (SRI). In this context, the following topics were discussed:

* The market of SRI and sustainability indices in Europe, as presented by Eurosif, Avanzi SRI Research and CSR Europe;
* Eurosif’s transparency guidelines for the retail SRI fund sector;
* The drivers, obstacles and success factors in SRI (Ethibel, FTSE4Good and Siemens).

Next steps:

The next CSR Multi Stakeholder Forum round table meeting will take place on 29-30 September, dealing with development issues.
The third and final “transparency” round table is likely to take place in February 2004.
The Forum is to present a report with its recommendations by summer 2004.