GRI confirms four new Board appointments

Source: GRI, 13 November 2019

GRI, provider of the world’s leading sustainability reporting standards, will welcome four new members to its Board from 1 January 2020.

The Board of Directors oversees the organizations’ work to increase and strengthen sustainability disclosures by companies around the world, helping them communicate how they contribute towards sustainable development.

Eric Hespenheide, chairman of the GRI Board, said: “GRI provides international leadership through our mission to develop global standards for disclosure of economic, environmental and social performance. I am excited to welcome four new directors to the Board. Collectively and individually they will add a lot of knowledge and experience to GRI and their appointments continue to demonstrate our independent and multi-stakeholder approach. Meanwhile, I recognize the Board members who are stepping down and thank them for their years of valuable contributions to the success of GRI.”

With the addition of the four new directors, GRI’s 15-member Board will include 13 nationalities from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Asia and Australia. GRI’s governance also has representation from five constituency groups – business enterprise, labor organizations, mediating institutions, investment, and civil society.

The new appointees, who will join on three-year terms, are:

  • Mr. Eelco van der Enden: Partner, PwC (Netherlands – mediating institutions)
    Eelco leads PwC’s Tax Administration Consulting and has almost 30 years’ experience in tax, treasury, risk management and corporate finance. He supports businesses, governments, international organizations and NGOs to implement sustainable tax compliance strategies. He is Chair of the Tax Policy Group of Accountancy Europe, co-founder of the Tax Assurance Academy and the Tax Data Science Centre, Nyenrode Business University. Eelco is a member of GRI’s Technical Committee responsible for developing a new Tax Standard.
  • Ms. Jessica Fries: Executive Chair of A4S – Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability (UK – mediating institutions)
    Jessica leads A4S, which seeks to inspire finance leaders to adopt sustainable and resilient business models. She is on the board of the Natural Capital Coalition and was responsible in establishing the International Integrated Reporting Council. She has worked with a wide range of companies, governments, investors and not-for-profit organizations to help them integrate sustainability into their core business.
  • Mr. Lance Y. Gokongwei: President and Chief Executive Officer, JG Summit Holdings (Philippines – business enterprise)
    Lance leads JG, a conglomerate in the real estate, food, transport, financial services and petrochemicals sectors, with operations in the Philippines and throughout Southeast Asia and Australasia. He is Chairman of Robinsons Retail Holdings and Vice Chairman of Manila Electric Company. As trustee and secretary of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation he drives the sustainability direction and efforts of the Gokongwei Group.
  • Mr. Jyrki Raina: global industrial relations expert (Finland – labor organizations)
    Until 2016, Jyrki was General Secretary of the IndustriALL Global Union, a federation representing more than 50 million working people in 140 countries. Jyrki pioneered the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord in 2013 and launched the ACT (Action, Collaboration, Transformation) textiles and garment industry living wage initiative in 2015. He now uses his widespread expertise to support projects around the world related to strategic development, living wage, mediation, research and evaluation.

Meanwhile, Ms. Molly Harriss Olson, CEO Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand, Australia, has been re-elected for a further term.

The following GRI Board members will be stepping down at the end of 2019: Ms. Sandra Guerra, Mr. Alexandra Watson, Mr. Roberto de Ocampo and Mr. Manfred Warda.

GRI chief executive Tim Mohin added: “The appointments of Eelco, Jessica, Lance and Jyrki bring fresh perspectives and expertise and I look forward to working with them to advance sustainability reporting. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the four departing Board members for their expert input and guidance.”