Why 400 people have already registered for GRI’s Global Conference – and why you should too!

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 26 February 2013

The Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting, taking place from 22-24 May in Amsterdam, will be the must-attend sustainability event of 2013. The Conference will bring together 1500 leaders and practitioners from around the world. The first 400 seats are already booked!
With a theme of Information – Integration – Innovation, participants can expect to gain new knowledge about sustainability reporting; to be inspired to develop innovative solutions to sustainability challenges; and to integrate transparent reporting into their business models.

The Conference will offer something for everyone, from experienced reporters and practitioners to those just embarking on their sustainability reporting journey, and will feature content of interest to delegates from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds including business, finance, accountancy, consultancy, civil society, government, labor and academia.

This month, we hear from a few of the first Conference registrants, to find out why they are attending the Conference and what they hope to get out of it.

Charmane Russell is Managing Director at Russell & Associates, a communications consultancy based in Johannesburg which specializes in the natural resources sector. She says: “I am looking forward to learning, and sharing ideas with thought leaders and like-minded people. In this evolving field, I think it is important to be part of the debate, and not just recipients of ‘guidelines’. Living in a developing country like South Africa, and working in the resources sector, where there is a strong commitment to integrated reporting, I feel that we have a lot to add to this debate; in particular how to move away from a compliance approach to dealing with that which is really material. I have attended the last two GRI Conferences and have always come back inspired. It is a tall order, but I expect no less this year.”

Claude Perras is Head of Sustainability at London Mining, a producer of high specification iron ore for the global steel industry with operations in Sierra Leone, Greenland and Saudi Arabia. He says: “Within the current, unstable economic environment, attending the GRI Conference is a great opportunity to learn about the trends, regulations and mandatory versus voluntary disclosure that will shape the business environment for the next few years. It is also an opportunity to be part of a global forum, to network and learn from leading experts from various sectors, and address crucial challenges and issues in the area of sustainability and reporting.”

Participants at the Conference can also expect to gain new knowledge on topics such as integrated reporting, data tagging and XBRL, the future of reporting policy, the links between financial markets and sustainability reporting, and of course, the latest generation of the GRI Guidelines – G4.

For those new to reporting, there will be a special learning session on how to get started as a first-time reporter. There will also be a tailored session on reporting for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Stan Rodgers, a trainer at the National Center for Sustainability Reporting, a GRI Certified Training Partner working in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, says: "Attending the Conference will enable me to keep up to date with important changes happening within GRI, which I can then pass on to our clients. I can also make a personal contribution by providing feedback as a trainer to further improve what is already a world class standard. I also hope to broaden my network and gain knowledge from other participants in order to improve my own performance.”

Besides plenaries, the Conference agenda features five tracks: a G4 Track, which will cover the significant changes in the next generation of the GRI Guidelines; a Trends in Reporting Track, which will focus on recent developments in the field of sustainability reporting; a Shaping the Reporting Environment Track, which will highlight developments in the field and the perspectives of policy makers and report users; a Learning Track, which is tailored for new reporters; and an Academic Track, which will gather the learning of prominent researchers from around the world.

There are just three and a half months to go until the start of the Conference, so if you haven’t registered yet, be sure to book your place soon.

If you have any questions about the Conference, or want more information about the agenda, travel, and accommodation, visit the Conference webpages or contact the GRI Conference team.

The Conference website