Sustainability leader and Worldconnector Herman Mulder has been appointed Chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)'s Board of Directors.
Herman Mulder is a member of the board of the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Mulder is a former senior executive vice-president at ABN AMRO, and is now an independent board member with a focus on sustainable development issues.
Mulder said of the appointment: “I am very honored and excited to be Chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative. We are witnessing a turning point for sustainability reporting, as it moves from an experimental pursuit to a mainstream practice. I look forward to leading GRI as it helps make sustainability reporting standard practice worldwide.”
Mulder also worked in the field of livelihood development finance in India and Brazil, where he gained insights into the global value chain and the positive effects companies can have on people living in lower income countries. He explained, “I learnt how interconnected the world really is – from the farmers in Brazil to the coffee in your cup. It’s important to know our own value chain and recognize that imbalances can be a major issue.”
“One of the lessons of the financial crisis is that we need much better transparency on more risks and opportunities,” added Mulder. “This is a global imperative. Governments, stock exchanges and investors should adopt a report or explain approach to policy, encouraging more organizations to report their performance. Notwithstanding recent significant progress in sustainability reporting using GRI’s Guidelines, many more companies should adopt advanced disclosure practices, addressing risks, opportunities, dependencies and impacts in their entire value chain. Moreover, investors should recognize that such disclosure is essential for them too: ‘use or loose’.”
Mulder was appointed Vice-Chairman following the departure of Professor Mervyn King in October 2011, and has been Acting Chairman in the interim period. The Board of Directors resolved to appoint Mulder Chairman during their meeting on Friday 25 November 2011.
GRI’s Board of Directors appointed Anita Normark as Vice-Chairman of the Board during the same meeting. Normark was General Secretary of the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) from 2001 to 2009, and before that General Secretary of the Nordic Federation of Building and Woodworkers for 15 years. Working closely with the ILO, the focus of the BWI has been to implement globally recognized labor standards, and to promote sustainable development in the construction and wood and forestry sectors. Normark continues to promote sustainable construction developments as a consultant.
On 6 October 2011, Professor Mervyn King was awarded the title of Honorary Chairman of GRI, after almost five years serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Professor King moved on to take up the position of Chairman of the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) on 1 October 2011.