GRI Releases Annual Report
13 November 2012 at 3:35 pm
Policy will be crucial in making sustainability reporting standard practice, says a global sustainability organisation.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) – which produces guidelines that companies can use to report their sustainability performance – has issued its Annual Report 2011/12 drawing attention to developments in encouraging policy around sustainability reporting.
The report emphasizes the importance of policy in making sustainability reporting a standard business practice.
In the report Ernst Ligteringen, GRI Chief Executive, says policy and regulation could have a big impact on the uptake of sustainability reporting; a practice that can serve markets and society, and contribute to sustainable development.
Sustainability reporting is on the rise. Investor interest is higher than ever. Calls for smart regulation are increasing. So is the uptake of reporting by all companies that want to lead the way to long-term success.
In developing countries, sustainability reporting can be a driver for building a better life for all. By increasing transparency and therefore accountability, organizations can measure and communicate their contribution to boosting local economies, encouraging respect for human rights and decent working conditions, and stimulating social equality.
The GRI report looked at the inaugural Australian GRI Conference on Sustainability and Integrated Reporting hosted by GRI’s Focal Point Australia on 26-28 March 2012, describing it as the largest multi-stakeholder conference in the region to date focusing on sustainability and integrated reporting.
More than 250 participants from 11 countries representing local, state and federal government, business, investors, labor, professional service firms, academia and the Not for Profit sectors, expressed broad support for:
- the continuous innovation of reporting and reporting frameworks in the transition to a sustainable economy
- the adoption of a report or explain approach to policy by government, regulators and stock exchanges
Delegates said the Conference provided an opportunity for delegates to shape the future of reporting.
- GRI should produce guidance on more explicit disclosure of ethical principles
- Develop clearer definitions/standard definitions regarding sustainability data and its value
- Develop case studies of companies that have developed connected metrics for linking sustainability data to value
- Undertake an industry analysis to investigate how prepared companies are for integrated reporting
- Establish integrated reporting working groups to identify how GRI Indicators link to financial performance
- Conduct research on what materiality is and how it can be approached
- Investigate how companies currently engage with their investors, and how it might be improved
- A South East Asian conference should be held by GRI
- Regional GRI Guidelines should be developed