Sustainability – New G3 Reporting Guidelines
Wednesday, 8th November 2006 at 3:47 pm
The next generation framework for businesses and other organisations to report on tough issues like climate change, corporate governance, and child labour was launched this month by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
GRI’s third version known as G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (previous releases in 2000 and 2002) are described as a landmark in the ongoing history of sustainability reporting and corporate social responsibility.
The G3 Guidelines build upon the 2002 Guidelines, which are in use by upwards of 1000 organisations, including Microsoft, ABN Amro, Anglo American, Nike, Gap, Petrobras and Novartis.
The Guidelines are widely recognised for bringing sustainability reporting into the business mainstream.
The new G3 Guidelines are described as simpler, helping organisations to focus on material issues and support improved sustainability performance.
They are harmonized with the UN Global Compact, are more useful for investors and analysts, and bring corporate governance into sharp focus.
Senior business leaders say the time has now come for all businesses to report their sustainability and use the G3 Guidelines.
Sir Mark Moody Stuart, Chair of Anglo American, and GRI Board Member, says that the G3 Guidelines are the global framework for sustainability reporting, and businesses and other organisations now have no excuse to not report.
Stuart says GRI’s G3 Guidelines capitalise on reporting experience at some of the world’s leading companies.
Already 69% of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index uses the GRI Guidelines, and 60% of the S&P 100. The push to get all businesses onboard will be helped by the G3’s consolidated indicators, which have been refined and reduced to simplify reporting.
Additionally useful for investors and analysts is the new high level Strategy and Analysis section, which discloses the approach to sustainability management, and the Disclosure on Management Approach, which shows how policies, procedures and goals affect issue management and performance.
Further enhancing transparency, G3 reporters declare their application levels, showing how much of the reporting framework they have used.
Harmonization with the UN Global Compact means that UNGC Communication on Progress can now take the form of a G3 report. G3 reports also satisfy the UNGC disclosure requests on Commitment, Systems, Action and Performance.
GRI Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen says that sustainability reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance must become as routine and comparable as financial reporting.
He says the G3 Guidelines were hewn from the practical experience of companies that pioneered reporting, and from the needs of their report users – including investors, consumers, civil society, and employees.
Sustainability reporting in Australia is voluntary.
The G3 Guidelines can be found at www.grig3.org.