Measurement Working Group Subgroups Take Shape
The GRI distributed an announcement in February to more than 1,000 individuals worldwide, seeking candidates to participate directly in the revision of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines by joining the subgroups of the Measurement Working Group. The MWG is a central component in the run-up to the mid-2002 release of the revised Guidelines. We received more than 150 candidate applications from 32 countries. To ensure a manageable process, each of the ten subgroups will have approximately eight members, with additional individuals serving as subgroup advisors.
It was challenging to assemble well-balanced subgroups from this pool of candidates. While we will post the composition of the subgroups within a few days, we will supplement some of the groups with additional recruited members to improve stakeholder, geographic, and gender balance.
The next meeting of the core MWG will be held in Delhi, India on 23-24 April. It will be hosted by the Centre for Science and Environment. Subgroup coordinators will communicate with subgroup members before the Delhi meeting. Some subgroups will have documents to review and some will be developing workplans in preparation for the Delhi meeting. After Delhi, work of the subgroups will be conducted primarily via e-mail, Internet, and telephone to minimise travel requirements.
Board of Directors Nominating Committee Members Announced
Jonathan Lash, Chairman of the GRI Nominating Committee (NC) for the Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the core members of the GRI NC.
* John Evans, General-Secretary of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee
* Yolanda Kakabadse, President of the World Conservation Union
* K.P. Nyati, Head of the Environmental Management Division of the Confederation of Indian Industry
* Bjorn Stigson, Executive Director of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development
Individual from a social/human rights organisation, pending acceptance of an invitation.
The GRI NC is an independent interim committee, composed of individuals of international reputation, representing various constituencies and regions. The NC is charged with selecting, in iterative consultation with the GRI Steering Committee, approximately a dozen individuals to become the first Board of the permanent GRI.
Robert Kinloch Massie, Chair of the GRI Steering Committee and Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel of the United Nations Environment Programme will serve as ex-officio members of this committee.
The selection of NC members was based on recommendations received from the parties who responded to an early February call for recommendations, and from the GRI Steering Committee. Jonathan Lash, in consultation with Dr. Massie, Mrs. Aloisi de Larderel, Allen White, GRI Interim Director, and Nancy Bennet and Judith Mullins of the GRI Steering Committee made the final decision on invitations to potential NC members.
The newly formed NC will issue documents on the process for selecting Board members, as well as the formal criteria for Board membership, by the end of April 2001.
Thirty-one Companies Join Structured Feedback Process
The response surpassed our expectations. After distributing an invitation through various business networks asking companies to join a Structured Feedback Process (SFP) on the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, we received statements of interest from 31 companies. Instead of reducing this number to the original target of 25, we decided it was in everyone’s interest to accept all companies as SFP participants. Combined, the companies have almost 2.5 million employees, with headquarters in ten different countries. In addition to European and North American companies, the list also includes companies from Brazil, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand. The companies represent a range of industry sectors including automotive, chemical, consumer products, electronics, energy, life sciences, and mining. As part of the SFP, companies commit to: thoroughly reviewing the Guidelines; providing feedback; and considering publishing a sustainability report in accordance with the Guidelines.
Company Industry Headquarters
* Agilent, Information technology, USA
* BASF, Chemicals, Germany
* Baxter International, Medical supplies, USA
* Bayer AG, Life sciences/chemicals, Germany
* British American Tobacco, Tobacco products, UK
* CWS Powder Coatings, Chemicals,Germany
* ESAB,Welding supplies,Sweden
* Ford Motor Company,Automobiles,USA
* Gaz de France,Energy utility,France
* General Motors,Automobiles,USA
* Halliburton,Energy services,USA
* Ito Yokado,Retail,Japan
* Jebsen and Jessen Ind.,products/services,Singapore
* Kirin Brewing,Food and beverage,Japan
* Natura,Personal care,Brazil
* Panasonic (Matsushita Electric),Electronics,Japan
* Procter & Gamble,Consumer products,USA
* Rio Tinto,Mining,UK
* Shell,Oil and gas,UK
* Siam Pulp & Paper,Public Company,Paper products,Thailand
* SKF Group,Metal products,Sweden
* Suncor Energy,Oil and gas,Canada
* Sydkraft Group,Energy services,Sweden
* Texaco,Oil and gas,USA
* TotalFinaElf,Oil and gas,France
* TransAlta,Energy utility,Canada
* TXU Europe,Energy utility,UK
* WSP Group, Construction consulting, UK
Site Selection Update
At the March Steering Committee meeting, discussion generated modifications to the process that will be followed for determining the future site of the GRI Secretariat.
An assessment of 51 cities against 22 quantitative and qualitative criteria comprised the first stage of this process. The Steering Committee viewed the analysis as valuable input to the strategic dialogues and decisions that lie ahead. The discussion focused on the realization that intangibles (e.g., perception of a location as neutral) ultimately will prevail in the siting decision.
There were several suggestions to consider regional offices along with the headquarters location. To ensure it sends a strong signal about its serious commitment to global reach, especially in developing countries, the GRI will consider several regional offices. These offices would be opened over a 2-3 year period, and would focus primarily on outreach and stakeholder engagement.
The siting selection plan now includes the following steps:
*Determine a handful of criteria-the “must haves” for a location. *Criteria can be quantitative or intangible.
*Select 4-5 cities that meet most of the criteria.
*Prepare and distribute a Request for *Proposals to cities, presenting GRI needs for its headquarters site.
*Continue ongoing discussions with currently interested countries/cities. *Previous analytical work will serve to inform discussions with host countries.
*Conduct additional research on cities.
*Investigate regional office functions and potential sites.
Assess bids for headquarters location.
*GRI Steering Committee makes its siting recommendations to the new Board of Directors in October-November 2001.
GRI on the Road
The GRI was featured at the following events in March 2001:
*GRI Guidelines and SRI; Tokyo, Japan; 250 participants
*Canadian GRI Briefing; Toronto, Canada; 120 participants
*GRI: Benefits to Business and Emerging Experiences; The Prince of Wales *International Business Leaders Forum; London, UK; 50 participants
*Sustainability Metrics: A Dialogue Across Scales; Yale University, New Haven, USA; 35 participants
The GRI will have a presence at the following high-level events in the coming months:
*MISTRA Foundation and Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, in cooperation with the Bellagio Forum for Sustainable Development and European Environment Agency; 4-5 April; *Stockholm, Sweden; Workshop on “Measure and Communicate Sustainable Development.” Allen White, GRI Interim Director will present and co-facilitate.
*9th and 10th Sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 9 and 10); 16 April – 1 May; New York, USA. The GRI will present several short demonstrations on 17-20 April, in the UN meeting area.
*OECD Forum 2001, 14-16 May, Paris, France. Bob Massie, Chair of the GRI Steering Committee, will speak at the Forum’s Sustainable Development Roundtable, “What is the contribution of corporate responsibility to sustainable development?” (15 May, 17:00-18:30). As well, the GRI will have a display at the OECD Knowledge Fair.