Message from the Chair

At its 14-15 April meeting in Amsterdam the GRI Board of Directors reviewed the achievements of the GRI over the last quarter and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing GRI. We agreed that our main goal over the next year is continued promotion the use of the 2002 Guidelines – by reporters and users alike – and to further refine them through a broad-based, rigorous testing and feedback process. We also agreed the importance of developing new GRI Sector Supplements and other supporting documents, reflecting the intense interest of reporting organizations and users in sector-specific products. Noting that over 200 leading companies now use the Guidelines, we set an ambitious target for 2005 of at least 600 GRI reporting companies as well as at least 5 international and public sector organisations and 15 labour and NGO reporters, reflecting the intended broad use of the reporting framework by organizations of all types.

The Board also noted the need for GRI to move towards a funding policy that reflects the shared benefits among all stakeholders of a generally accepted, international reporting framework that remains dynamic, innovative and adaptive over the long-term. Responding to the general preference of donors to fund projects rather than core expenses, the Board has adopted a business model for GRI based on a project-driven approach. As a result, GRI will develop a portfolio of specific projects with an emphasis on Sector Supplements and other supporting documents for which we will be seeking dedicated funding. Under the new model, the Secretariat will be structured to focus on promoting and refining the 2002 Guidelines. To ensure adequate core funding, we encourage all of you – GRI reporters and users alike – to register as Organisational Stakeholders. For details, please see the registration form on the GRI website.

First Two Pilot Protocols Released

To assist users in applying the Guidelines, GRI is developing technical protocols on indicator measurement. Each protocol addresses a specific indicator or set of indicators by providing detailed definitions, procedures, formulae and references to ensure consistency across reports. After months of review and revision, GRI has released the first two pilot protocols – for energy use and water indicators. First released as drafts in May 2002, the protocols have passed a review of both the content and the process of development. They are now ready for organisational use. However, as with all GRI documents, the protocols will continue to follow the cycle of review, testing and improvement that helps to ensure progress in sustainability reporting. Over time, most of the indicators in the GRI Guidelines will be supported by specific technical protocols.

Appointment of Stakeholder Council Finalised

GRI is pleased to announce that the full Stakeholder Council (SC) has now been formed. Following a meeting of the partial SC in December 2002, an Interim Nomination Committee, made up of volunteers from the initial 36-person SC, reviewed more than 90 nominations for the remaining 24 seats for the full SC. Particular attention was paid in the selection process to ensuring both balance and diversity among stakeholder groups and regions within the SC. The SC is a critical element in GRI’s innovative governance structure and a key forum in which stakeholder views are debated and brought to the attention of the Board. The SC also elects a portion of the Board. A full list of the 60 SC members has been posted on the GRI website. The first meeting of the full SC will occur on 9-10 July 2003. Details are forthcoming.

Guidelines from OECD and GRI Seen as Complementary

GRI recently participated in a roundtable convened by OECD Secretary-General Donald Johnston to discuss the role of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNE Guidelines) in advancing corporate social responsibility (CSR). The meeting was attended by approximately 30 senior representatives of business, labour, NGO, UN & multilateral organisations. There was broad consensus among participants that the MNE Guidelines were a valuable contribution to CSR . Participants from all major stakeholder groups referenced the GRI and several noted the complementary nature of directional guidelines (e.g., the MNE Guidelines and UN Global Compact) and the GRI, which together could form an effective working package.

GRI Reporters Win Awards

Two GRI reporters have won awards for their sustainability reporting. At the European Sustainability Reporting Awards held in Amsterdam on 11 April, hosted by the Royal NIVRA, the Dutch Institute for Registered Accountants, the Canary Wharf Group won the -Best First Sustainability Report’, while the Cooperative Bank won the -Best Sustainability Report’. In the USA, another GRI reporter, Chiquita Brands International, won the first-ever CERES-ACCA Award for Outstanding Sustainability Reporting. The awards, which also included other GRI reporters, were made at a conference on Advancing Sustainable Governance held in New York on 3 April and hosted by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES).

Thank You to Allen White

At a special event during the recent GRI Board meeting, members of the Board and colleagues at the Secretariat joined together to thank GRI co-founder Allen White for his tireless and dedicated service to the GRI. When the GRI moved to Amsterdam in September 2002, Allen served the organisation as acting Chief Executive and lead the establishment of the new Secretariat. Subsequently, Allen has been a close advisor to his successor, Ernst Ligteringen, following the latter’s appointment in November 2002. Allen played a key role in consolidation of the new Secretariat team and development of the new business plan adopted by the Board (see above). With this transition phase completed, Allen will return to Boston in May. He will be working from Tellus Institute where he will assist GRI as a part-time advisor and ambassador (e-mail: awhite@tellus.org). Members of the Board and colleagues thank him for his vision, leadership and service to the GRI during its formative years, and look forward to his continuing contributions in the future.

GRI on the Road

GRI representatives, including the Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen, were active during the month in responding to interest in the GRI around the world. Engagements included :

Meetings with leading Japanese companies and business organizations, including Keidanren and Doyukai, government ministries and press

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies Annual Meeting; New York, USA

Dutch Association of Chief Financial Officers; Zeist, Netherlands

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association Annual Meeting; San Francisco, USA

Swedish Partnership for Global Responsibilities/Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Stockholm, Sweden

Meetings with Thai, Korean and Philippines industry, accounting firms, NGOs and media in Bangkok, Seoul and Manila

Register for Public Forum on Corporate Governance and Reporting

On the occasion of the 9th Annual International Corporate Governance Network Conference, the GRI and ICGN are pleased to host a public panel that will highlight the linkages between corporate governance and corporate sustainability reporting. The event is titled “Corporate Governance and Corporate Sustainability Reporting: What do Stakeholders Want?”, and will be held from 16:00 – 18:00 on 9 July 2003 at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. GRI Chair Dr. Judy Henderson will host a distinguished panel, including: Alastair Ross Goobey, Chair of ICGN and Hermes Asset Management; Mervyn King, Chair of South Africa King Committee on Corporate Governance; Andre Baladi, ICGN co-founder; and Robert Kinloch Massie, former CERES Executive Director and GRI Co-Founder and Board member. A registration form for this free event is available on the GRI website.

Guidelines Now Available in German

The 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are now available in a German language version . This is the third translation of the 2002 Guidelines, adding to the Japanese and Dutch language versions that are also available on the GRI website. Other translations are in progress and will be posted as soon as they have undergone peer review. GRI would like to thank Prof. Dr. Stefan Schaltegger from the Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), based in L√ľneburg, Germany for co-ordinating the translation.

More Organisations Use the Guidelines

We have been informed that the organisations listed below have prepared reports using the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. GRI welcomes the use of the Guidelines by these organisations. These additions bring the cumulative total of known self-declared GRI reporters to 220. The GRI would like to recognise here the decision by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an NGO, to report using the GRI Guidelines. As is our usual practice, the addition of these GRI users to the list of reporters on our website does not imply the report’s conformance to the Guidelines.

-In Accordance”:

Novo Nordisk (Denmark)

Other Reporters:

Alcoa (USA)
BAT Australia (Australia)
BAT Malaysia (Malaysia)
BAT South Africa (South Africa)
Canary Wharf Group (UK)
Citizen (Japan)
CSM (Netherlands)
DuPont (USA)
Ecotainment Group (Japan)
Electricidade de Portugal (Portugal)
Exel (UK)
Fleet Boston Financial (USA)
Graham & Brown (UK)
International Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada)
Kokuyo (Japan)
Mitsui & Co. (Japan)
Opel (Germany)
Seiyu (Japan)
Sharp (Japan)
Shin Nihon Steel (Japan)
Stora Enso (Finland)
Talisman Energy (Canada)
Terranova (Chile)
Unicharm (Japan)

Organisations that recognise the Guidelines in their reports and wish to join GRI’s public listing of GRI users are invited to complete the brief form to be found there.