The december 2001 update from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), guidelines for sustainability reporting.
Two Stakeholder Opportunities
In the past month we have informed you of two opportunities to become involved in GRI as a stakeholder at two distinct levels of engagement. We invite your interest in either one or both:
1. Invitation to Register as an Individual Stakeholder
Registering as an Individual Stakeholder is a formal indication of your support for the GRI mission, and provides you with regular updates and notice of opportunities to participate in the GRI process. Registration enables GRI to better understand its stakeholder network and priorities for strengthening it.
Any person can register, whether new to the GRI process or a current participant. Please note that only individuals can register as Individual Stakeholders. Joining as an individual does not imply your organisation’s commitment or endorsement. Individuals from 52 countries already have registered. We encourage all parties to find out more and register free.
2. Call for Nominations for Stakeholder Council
For those interested in more extensive involvement in determining GRI’s direction, we invite nominations for members of the first GRI Stakeholder Council.
The Stakeholder Council is a unique feature of the upcoming independent organisation. It is the formal stakeholder policy forum within the GRI structure, where stakeholders will be equal partners in charting the future course of the organisation. It will be an active multi-stakeholder body for debating and deliberating key strategic and policy issues facing the GRI. The Stakeholder Council has voting rights and will have 60 members, balanced across constituencies and geographic regions. Members appointed to the Stakeholder Council commit to acting as individuals broadly representing their stakeholder constituency, not as representatives of their specific organisations.
Complete a Stakeholder Council Nomination Form and return it by
7 January 2002.
GRI and UN Global Compact Strengthen Relations
The GRI and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Global Compact have formed a groundbreaking new cooperative framework. Companies endorsing the Global Compact’s nine principles covering human, labour, and environmental rights, may now use GRI reporting to fulfill Global Compact requirements to demonstrate progress toward implementation of the principles.
“Companies participating in both initiatives have long stressed the understanding that the GRI is a practical expression of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Compact,” said Georg Kell, Executive Head of the UN Global Compact Office. “Therefore, companies may wish to use their involvement in the GRI as an example of their commitment to the Global Compact.”
More information on this collaboration can be found on the Global Compact website and the GRI website.
UN Economic Commission for Europe Welcomes GRI
In late September, the UN Economic Commission for Europe met at the ministerial level. In its “Ministerial Statement for the World Summit on Sustainable Development”, UNECE expresses support for GRI:
“We strongly support the business and industry sector to develop partnerships and to take measures in the areas of corporate responsibility, economic, social and environmental accountability and exchange of best practices and technologies through various partnerships with other sectors.. We welcome the UNEP Global Reporting Initiative, which seeks to get companies to present comparable sets of data on environmental and social performance.”
Numerous influential commentators and stakeholders have voiced their views on GRI. Discover “What Others Are Saying”.
The GRI recognises that in conjunction with the next revision of the Guidelines, (due for release in mid-2002) sector-specific guidance must be developed to supplement the core information elicited in the general Guidelines. This is essential to enabling more robust and useful reporting – and to extend the applicability and uptake of the Guidelines across sectors and around the world.
Over the past year, the GRI Secretariat has become engaged with numerous existing sector-based initiatives. Visit the Sector Supplement section of the web site for more details on sector supplements for the financial services, mining, and tour operator sectors, the first wave of GRI sector partnerships.
The mining and tour operator initiatives have prepared draft documents and are seeking public input. Please view the mining document on-line and provide comments via e-mail. The tour operators documents will be posted shortly.
GRI expects to launch an additional 5-10 sector partnerships in the second half of 2002. For more information on sector supplements, please contact Sean Gilbert.
In a related development, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in the United Kingdom recently released their 2nd Annual Report, which is believed to be the world’s first sector-level report aligned with the GRI Guidelines.
IFC/CEU/GRI Pilot Reporting Project Underway in Central Europe
GRI has partnered with International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Central European University (CEU) to launch a pilot project to promote sustainability reporting by companies located in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe. The programme was launched at the CEU campus in Budapest, Hungary on 10-12 November 2001, with the joint IFC/GRI/CEU workshop “Demonstrating Leadership Through Sustainability Reporting.” For more information on the pilot project contact Teodorina Lessidrenska.
Verification Working Group Update
Throughout November, the GRI network provided feedback to the Verification Working Group on the document: “Overarching Principles for Providing Independent Assurance on Sustainability Reporting”. (View full feedback texts.) This input, along with input from three regional VWG meetings-the last one held in Toronto on 16 November- will inform development of revised text on verification for inclusion in the 2002 Guidelines. The revised verification text will be posted on the GRI website for public comment in mid-January 2002.
Portuguese Version of Guidelines Available
The GRI is grateful to Constança Peneda who handled this most recent translation of the Guidelines. Ms. Peneda is Director of Centro para o Desenvolvimento Empresarial Sustentável (CENDES) at the Instituto Nacional de Engenharia e Tecnologia Industrial (INETI) in Lisbon, Portugal. The Portuguese version, as well as Guidelines in seven other languages, can be downloaded here. The 2002 Guidelines will be translated for audiences in both Portugal and Brazil.
More Organisations Release Sustainability Reports
We have been informed that the following organisations have prepared reports based on the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Amanco (Costa Rica)
J Sainsbury (UK)
Loy Yang Power (Australia)
Pioneer Group (Japan)
Risk and Policy Analysts (UK)
Watercare Services (New Zealand)
Since following the Guidelines is voluntary, companies are not obligated to inform GRI of adoption or use. However, to monitor GRI’s progress, and identify needs for GRI outreach and future Guidelines revisions, the Secretariat asks all such companies to inform the Secretariat of their use of the Guidelines at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are keeping a cumulative list of companies that state they used the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in preparing their reports.