Measurement Working Group – London Meeting Report

Amidst the turmoil, fear, and uncertainty in the week following the 11 September events in New York and Washington, 75 people from more than 20 countries assembled in London on 19-20 September to participate in a meeting of the Measurement Working Group (MWG) of the GRI. For more than six months, MWG participants-numbering 125 in its full contingent-have contributed thousands of person hours in developing recommendations for revisions to the GRI June 2000 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

As the London meeting adjourned, it was clear that expectations were once again exceeded. Arriving with more than 200 pages of working documents, subgroups and workstreams-environmental, economic, social-laboured in GRI’s signature multi-stakeholder fashion. The tragic events of the prior week, instead of distracting and draining participants, seemed to have the opposite effect. Discussions were intense, focused, and energetic. Draft indicators were scrutinized, debated, prioritized. Participants pressed forward, sometimes beyond allocated meeting times, on a number of key thematic and overarching issues.

The core MWG is now well positioned to manage the final phase of its remit. October to December will be a time of further consultation, revision, and final consensus on its recommendations. This process, along with ongoing public comments on the London documents, will enable all MWG members and other stakeholders worldwide to provide input into the revisions process.

Had this been an ordinary moment in GRI’s short life, the accomplishments in London would be impressive. Of course, circumstances were anything but ordinary. Scheduled for the week after the 11 September events in New York and Washington, the London meeting brought into sharp focus both the extraordinary commitment of individuals to the GRI process as well as GRI’s contribution to a troubled world. Seeing an assembly of individuals-ranging from Argentina to India, Pakistan to Uganda, US to UK-come together to address the many controversial issues associated with sustainability reporting was a living example of how differences can and should be resolved. The meeting was a ray of light amidst a dark period for humanity. View the ten subgroup working documents and meeting minutes.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Awards $950,000

A $950,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will fund research and development of a standardized approach for companies to share information on HIV/AIDS policies, practices, and programs. The extractive and itinerant-worker industries of mining, forestry, agriculture and ground transportation will be the initial focus for the project. Consistent with all projects undertaken by GRI, the HIV/AIDS information disclosure standard will be developed in a multi-stakeholder fashion. In addition to industry experts, representatives of human and labour rights advocacy groups, government, and research institutions will participate in a highly consultative process. The grant brings to a total of $6.4 million that have been committed to the GRI from numerous foundations over the past three years. View the press release.

Summary of Structured Feedback Process Responses Available

Earlier this year, 31 pioneering companies agreed to test the June 2000 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines as part of the Structured Feedback Process. They have provided detailed feedback about their experiences via questionnaire. Their full responses are available, along with a summary prepared by the GRI Secretariat. Companies also committed to consider using the Guidelines during the preparation of their sustainability reports. Learn more about the SFP.

Nominating Committee Receives 100+ Nominations for Board

The GRI Nominating Committee wishes to thank all of the individuals and organisations that submitted nominations for the first Board of Directors for the independent GRI institution. More than 100 nominations were received, reflecting a broad diversity of constituencies and geographic regions (i.e., 28 countries). The Nominating Committee, comprising seven luminaries from around the world, will meet 7-8 October in Geneva to consider and deliberate all nominations. The Committee will fulfill its mandate by selecting the first nine members of the Board by the end of 2001.

10 Myths About the GRI

Because of its expansive network and rapid evolution, the GRI is the subject of many rumours and myths. To ensure that all participants in the GRI process are equally informed, the GRI strives to operate as transparently as possible. In support of this objective we have posted a document entitled 10 Myths About the Global Reporting Initiative. The article dispels such myths as “the Guidelines are yet another code of conduct,” and “GRI has little interest in developing countries,” and eight others. GRI invites your review and comments, and welcomes suggestions for other myths that might need attention. Contact us.

More Organisations Release Sustainability Reports

We have been alerted that the following organisations have prepared reports informed by the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Arizona Public Service (USA)
AstraZeneca (UK)
Canon (Japan)
Green Mountain Energy (USA)
Hillside Aluminium (South Africa)
Metso (Finland)
Teijin Group (Japan)
Telstra (Australia)
Volvo Car Corporation (Sweden)

Since following the Guidelines is entirely voluntary, organisations are not obligated to inform GRI of adoption or use. However, to monitor GRI’s progress, and identify needs for GRI outreach, the Secretariat asks all such companies to inform the Secretariat of their use of the Guidelines at We are keeping a cumulative list of companies that state they used the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in preparing their reports.