New partnership to make sustainability reports more useful to investors

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 23 June 2011

A new format for providing sustainability data will help investors, auditors and analysts use information in sustainability reports more quickly and easily, thanks to a new ambitious program announced today by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Deloitte.
A kick-off meeting on Friday 24 June marks the start of an important work stream in the development of widespread and automated transmission of sustainability data. An agreement outlining the project was signed by Deloitte and GRI.

GRI produces the world’s most comprehensive sustainability reporting guidelines. Today’s new program aims to publish an XBRL taxonomy covering both the G3 Guidelines and GRI’s latest G3.1 Guidelines.

The new XBRL taxonomy will enable organizations to tag their sustainability data in reports. The taxonomy will help organizations improve the quality and integrity of their sustainability performance data. This will help investors, auditors and other report users to access and compare GRI data more quickly and easily without the need for excessive manual work.

Cees de Boer, CFO and COO of Deloitte in the Netherlands, is very positive about the closer collaboration between GRI and Deloitte: "We are experiencing a major shift towards electronic information delivery.

This development is already very important in financial reporting and is increasingly being used for both numerical and textual non-financial information. With the shift towards integrated reporting, the XBRL standard becomes a crucial enabler for information architectures and the design of reporting standards. In recognition of GRI’s leading role in sustainability reporting, we are happy to support GRI’s XBRL program. As we already use XBRL for our financial reporting and plan to use XBRL for our sustainability reporting, we will be a pilot user of this new taxonomy."

Nelmara Arbex, Deputy Chief Executive of the Global Reporting Initiative, explains the importance of the collaboration: "The partnership is crucial to offer GRI reporting organizations the tool to deliver sustainability information in XBRL format, which will enable all stakeholders to organize and access report’s information in a much quicker and easier way. The new program serves as a major pilot on the use and benefits of XBRL-tagged information. Deloitte has been an Organizational Stakeholder of GRI since the very beginning and we look forward to working together on this important