GRI Adopts New Business Plan
On 30 June, the Board approved a new Business Plan for GRI’s work over the period 2003-2005. Building on past achievements, the Business Plan sets challenging targets for GRI and outlines the rationale, strategies and budget for achieving them. Chief among GRI’s goals will be to double the number of organisations using GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines to prepare their reports. At the heart of the Business Plan is GRI’s commitment to improve the delivery and use of its current products, such as the 2002 Guidelines, and to develop new products in response to demand. GRI will be inviting all its stakeholder constituencies, as well as governments and international organisations, to help identify new GRI tools and processes, such as new Sector Supplements, that can be developed on a project basis. Copies of the Business Plan will be circulated widely and available on the website, within the next month.
Stakeholder Council: In Session!
The inaugural meeting of the full Stakeholder Council (SC) occurred 9-10 July at the GRI Secretariat in Amsterdam. The council elected Linda Funnell-Milner (Australia) as the chair, a three-year post. The SC agreed to collaborate with the Secretariat on the implementation of the Business Plan, specifically on project development, and strengthening the presence of GRI among the stakeholder groups and regions they represent.
This first meeting of the SC marks the birth of an innovative and unique governance structure. GRI’s credibility and materiality will be strengthened by the inputs from this important multi-stakeholder body.
ICGN/GRI Panel: Reporting as an Important Element of Good Governance.
At the 9th Annual International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) Conference, the GRI and ICGN hosted a panel event to highlight the linkages between corporate governance and corporate sustainability reporting. At the event on 9 July in Amsterdam, speakers answered the query: “Corporate Governance and Corporate Sustainability Reporting: What do Stakeholders Want?” Alasdair Ross Goobey, chair of ICGN delivered the keynote address, which was followed by lively panel debate by Judy Henderson, Mervyn King, André Baladi, William Blackburn and Robert K. Massie. An audience of 200+ heard that although sustainability reporting still has great leaps to make in mainstream investor circles, it is a key element of good corporate governance as a vehicle for transparency and accountability.
Sustainability reporting was characterised as -forward looking’ reporting, in contrast with financial reporting which is more static and historical. Panelists agreed that this forward looking approach can help companies anticipate risk and take early avoidance measures in order to protect the long-term durability of the organisation.
Structured Feedback Process Launched
The key process for revising and improving the 2002 Guidelines was launched this month. Known as the Structured Feedback Process (SFP), its purpose is to gather feedback from reporters and report users on the 2002 Guidelines via questionnaire and regional or issues-based workshops. The GRI Secretariat has announced a call for participants, asking existing and potential reporters and report users to join the process. A synthesis of all feedback gathered will be presented to GRI governance bodies (e.g., Stakeholder Council, Board) in early 2004, and also made available on-line. The release of a revised version of the Guidelines is planned for 2005.
Have Your Say: Web Forum Now Online
Last week GRI’s network of individual stakeholders received personalized logon and password details for Inter-Act, GRI’s new interactive forum. Every two months GRI will post a current sustainability reporting issue and solicit
your input. The first issue discussed on Inter-Act is Materiality. Click here (http://www.globalreporting.org/forum) to read GRI’s perspective on this subject and let us know what you think! If you have questions about your logon/password please contact the webmaster. We are looking forward to reading your contribution on Inter-Act.
GRI at Work Around the World
To track and get involved with GRI activities in your area please see our regional pages (http://www.globalreporting.org/workgroup/regional.asp). You can discover the names of GRI reporting organisations headquartered in your country, members of the Board of Directors and Stakeholder Council from your country and upcoming conference activity that will be attended by GRI staff in your country.
Alyson Slater Appointed as GRI Communications Manager
GRI is pleased to announce the appointment of Alyson Slater as Communications Manager. With a strong background in sustainability issues and international multi-stakeholder work, Alyson will play a key role in building awareness of GRI’s role as the world’s leading sustainability reporting framework. Prior to relocating to Amsterdam, Alyson spent two years with the Tellus Institute in Boston, consulting on projects relating to business and sustainability. During her time in Boston she also contributed to the work of the GRI interim secretariat, including the management of GRI’s HIV/AIDS resource document development and the communications program. She has also worked at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD in Geneva) in the advocacy and communications group.
Alyson holds degrees from McGill University and the University of British Columbia, both in Canada, her home country.
Uptake of GRI Guidelines Continues
The number of organisations issuing sustainability reports referencing the GRI continues to climb, with the total number now approaching 300. This figure is nearly double the total number of self-declared GRI reporters at this time last year.
The organisations listed below have prepared reports using the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, and registered their report with GRI over the past month. In welcoming the use of the Guidelines by these organisations, GRI notes that their inclusion on the list below and on our website does not imply the report’s conformance to the Guidelines.
New GRI Reporters:
Anglo American (UK)
Anglo Platinum (South Africa)
Brown & Williamson Tobacco (USA)
Deutsche Bank (Germany)
Grupo Aguas de Barcelona (Spain)
Johnson Matthey (UK)
Matsushita Electric Works (Japan)
MIM Holdings (Australia)
Newcrest Mining (Australia)
Old Mutual South Africa (South Africa)
Santander Central Hispano (Spain)
Séché Environment (France)
Siam Cement Industry (Thailand)
Standard Chartered Bank (UK)
Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (Sweden)
Tarong Energy (Australia)
Telefónica Móviles España (Spain)
Teollisuuden Voima Oy (Finland)
Toyota Australia (Australia)
Vivendi Universal (France)
New in-accordance reporters:
Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research (New Zealand)
Watercare Services (New Zealand)
GRI On The Move
Responding to interest from various quarters, GRI representatives gave a series of presentations in various locations through late June and early July. GRI Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen, travelled to Norway and Canada, where he had meetings with senior government representatives, as well as with the business and civil society sectors. During his North American trip, where he gave briefings on GRI’s Business Plan (see above) and recent GRI developments, Ernst also visited Washington DC for discussions with the World Bank and several leading NGOs and foundations. At the invitation of the OECD, Paul Hohnen and Ralph Thurm addressed the annual meeting of the National Contact Points for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises at their Paris meeting on 25 June. Secretariat staff also gave presentations on GRI in Copehagen, London, Geneva, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary.
Quotation of the Month
“Overall, we view the GRI as setting the global benchmark for disclosure and encourage companies to produce reports which are in accordance with the GRI Guidelines.”
SRI Annual Report
Henderson Global Investors