GRI, the international leader in sustainability standards setting, has announced the appointment of Eelco van der Enden as CEO. Starting 1 January 2022, Eelco will join GRI from multinational professional services network PwC, where he is Global ESG Platform Leader for Tax, Legal, People & Organisation Services. With a track record in advising on environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, he brings to GRI more than 20 years of experience in financial and sustainability senior management roles.
Eric Hespenheide, Chair of GRI, said: “I am pleased to confirm that the search for a new leader for GRI has concluded with the appointment from January of Eelco van der Enden as our CEO. As a GRI Board Member for two years and having served on the committee that designed the GRI Tax Standard, Eelco already has a deep understanding of and commitment to our mission and values. With corporate transparency on the global agenda like never before, Eelco brings the expertise and energy we need to deliver our robust independent standards and accelerate our engagement with partners around the world. I believe he will help GRI build on its position of strength, as provider of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards, while enabling us to increase our relevance with stakeholders around the world. Furthermore, Eelco’s business acumen will strengthen GRI as an organization, helping position us as the partner of choice for reporting organizations and policymakers. The announcement last week of governance changes also reflects these aspirations.”
Eelco van der Enden, incoming CEO, said: “I am hugely excited by the opportunities open to GRI and look forward to leading the organization into the next stage of their growth. Around the world, we are seeing increased demands for businesses to be accountable for their impacts – by all stakeholders, from regulators and shareholders all the way to consumers and future employees. That accountability cannot be achieved without the comprehensive sustainability disclosure that is achieved through the adoption of the GRI Standards. I am convinced that we need to both strengthen financial reporting and have sustainability standards that address double materiality. Value creation is important for innovation, employment, investment power and capabilities to change. But of equal importance are the environment and socio-economic cohesion of society. One cannot exist without the other. I see it as one of my key responsibilities to ensure GRI is collaborating with all key organizations to ensure these two pillars are in place. GRI’s unique leadership role in the co-construction of EU sustainability reporting standards is just one example of how we can be the catalyst for global convergence. I am confident that the multi-stakeholder approach of GRI, with reporting that widens the lens to include both internal and external impacts and is on an equal footing with financial reporting, is crucial to unlocking the pressing sustainable development challenges we face as a global community.”
Nadja Picard, PwC Global Reporting Leader, has expressed her support. She added: “Eelco has always been passionate about broader corporate reporting and the responsibility business has to the planet and society – a passion he has successfully communicated both within PwC and to our clients and stakeholders. While we are sorry to lose such a valued colleague, we are very proud that Eelco has been appointed to lead GRI, supporting the important global convergence of ESG reporting standards. We wish him all the best for the future.”