Structured Feedback Process Set to Begin in June
To ensure continual improvement of the GRI Guidelines, a structured feedback process (SFP) will be kicked off by the end of June 2003. The purpose of the SFP is to review the 2002 Guidelines with the objective of issuing new and improved guidelines in 2005. The GRI Secretariat will announce a call for participants, asking existing and potential reporters and report users to participate. In addition to responding to a questionnaire, the Secretariat also plans issue-specific and regional roundtables, so that a focussed synthesis can be presented to the GRI governance bodies (e.g., Stakeholder Council, Board) in early 2004.
G8 Reaffirms Importance of Corporate Responsibility
Observers of government policy will have noted that the issue of corporate responsibility featured again at the G8 meeting this year. The importance of improving transparency and accountability was specifically referred to by finance ministers and environment ministers in their pre-Summit meetings, and by the Heads of Government Summit in Evian on 2 June. GRI was pleased to see the Summit’s reaffirmation of support for “voluntary efforts to enhance corporate social and environmental responsibility” and its welcome of “voluntary initiatives by companies that promote corporate social and environmental responsibility”.
GRI looks forward to working with G8 and other governments in their efforts to actively promote enhanced responsibility and accountability on sustainable development by corporations and other organisations.
Supplements Moving Forward
The GRI has been moving forward with its supplement work. The Automotive Supplement Working Group held its third meeting and will be releasing a document for public comment in June. The document will be posted on the GRI website. The Telecommunications Supplement Working Group held its last meeting and the final document will be reviewed for release as a pilot version. A subsequent process for gathering feedback during the first reporting cycle will be established. Lastly, GRI signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) to develop a Mining and Metals Supplement for the 2002 Guidelines. The working group process will begin in the third quarter of 2003.
New Interactive Feedback Forum Coming in June
With a desire to enhance dialogue on sustainability reporting issues, we are revamping a portion of the GRI web site to host an interactive forum. Every two months we will post a current sustainability reporting issue (e.g., materiality, can any organisation use the GRI Guidelines), provide some context and GRI’s position on the issue, and solicit input from Individual Stakeholders. We invite all interested parties to submit additional issues or questions for this forum. The GRI Secretariat will provide its position on the issue, which may be later revised based on input.
The first issue will be materiality. Some critics depict the GRI Guidelines as being insensitive to materiality and requiring an indiscriminate volume of information. Because of the multi-stakeholder nature of sustainability reporting, materiality will vary by report user. A report based on the Guidelines will include information of greater and lesser value to any given user. Through the inclusion of integral reporting principles, the Guidelines address the issues of materiality and stakeholder engagement when preparing a GRI-based report. By definition, a report that excludes material issues and covers numerous immaterial issues has not lived up to the GRI reporting principles.
Individual Stakeholders will shortly receive a username and a password to post messages. (Individual Stakeholder registration is free. For more information, see our website here: http://www.globalreporting.org/feedback/indivstak.asp.) Please visit our Feedback Forum in June and share your perspectives. Your participation is crucial to making this a true dialogue, and to developing a deeper understanding of stakeholder views.
GRI in Print
GRI has received recent print and Internet coverage:
* Global Reporting Initiative seen as common CSR reporting code. AFX Global Ethics Monitor (16 May 2003)
* The 2002 GRI Guidelines: Clearing up the misunderstandings. Allen White. Ethical Corporation (May 2003)
* Bringing Concrete Expression to Corporate Responsibility: The Fundamental Role of Sustainability Reporting. Mark Brownlie. Corporate Responsibility – Responding to the Global Challenge (May 2003)
Still Time to Register for Joint ICGN-GRI Session
There is still time to register for the joint ICGN-GRI event, “Corporate Governance and Corporate Sustainability Reporting: What do Stakeholders Want?”. The event will be held on 9 July 2003 from 16:00 – 18:00 at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. More information and a registration form for this free event are available on the GRI website (http://www.globalreporting.org/news/events.asp). Eminent speakers at this event will include Judy Henderson, Alastair Ross Goobey, Mervyn King, André Baladi, William Blackburn and Robert K. Massie.
First Government Agency Releases Report Based on GRI Guidelines
Reflecting the increasing interest in reporting by organisations other than corporations, we have recently been informed that the New Zealand Ministry of the Environment is the first government agency to report using the GRI Guidelines. Government agencies in Australia, Canada, and UK are also considering non-financial performance reporting based on the Guidelines.
The organisations listed below have also 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 more than 250. The inclusion of these organisations on the list of reporters on our website does not imply the report’s conformance to the Guidelines.
* Ajimonoto Group (Japan)
* Allianz Group (Germany)
* Amanco (Costa Rica)
* Balfour Beatty (UK)
* Chubu Electric Power (Japan)
* Citigroup (USA)
* East Japan Railway (Japan)
* Ecos (Costa Rica)
* Eisai (Japan)
* France Telecom (France)
* Graham & Brown (UK)
* Grupo Nueva (Costa Rica)
* Kawasaki Kisen Line (Japan)
* McDonald’s Brazil (Brazil)
* Minolta (Japan)
* Murata Group (Japan)
* New Zealand Ministry of the Environment (New Zealand)
* Nippon Sheet Glass (Japan)
* Nippon Yusen (Japan)
* Nobleza Picardo (Argentina)
* Paharpur Business Centre & Software Technology Incubator Park (India)
* Petrobras (Brazil)
* Reckitt Benckiser (UK)
* Repsol YPF (Spain)
* Siam Group (Thailand)
* Siam Kraft (Thailand)
* Souza Cruz (Brazil)
* Standard Chartered Bank (UK)
* Storebrand (Norway)
* Sumitomo Special Metals (Japan)
* TDK (Japan)
* Terranova (Chile)
* UPM-Kymmene (Finland)
* Yamaha (Japan)
*** All organisations using the GRI Guidelines are encouraged to be become Organisational Stakeholders (OS). Details of OS benefits and subscription arrangements can be found here: http://www.globalreporting.org/governance/OSregistration.pdf. ***
GRI Reporters Win Awards
Companies using the GRI Guidelines swept the Australian 2002 Sustainability Reporting Awards hosted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). All five winners announced on 3 June were GRI reporters. City West Water took out the top honour for ’the Best Sustainability Report’, while BHP Billiton and Sydney Water were jointly awarded ’the Best Environmental Reporting’. Toyota Australia was commended as a new reporter , while Tarong Energy received a commendation for environmental reporting. The judges commended City West’s report for providing substantial performance data in economic, environmental and social areas, including robust independent verification. Commenting on the award, Rachel Jackson, ACCA’s head of environmental and social issues, also noted that City West also ” clearly defined stakeholders and benchmarked its data against others in the same sector for industry comparison