An update from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the international guidelines for sustainability reporting.
Official Inauguration Event in April
The Global Reporting Initiative will be inaugurated as an independent, permanent institution at a commemorative event on 4 April 2002 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Attendance will be by invitation only, and participants will include approximately 250 leaders in the field of sustainable development from business, civil society, government, and labour. The event will include short speeches from international luminaries and endorsements from several leading organisations. It will also be an opportunity to thank those who have contributed to the development of GRI since its inception in 1997.
Secretariat Headquarters Negotiations
Begin with The Netherlands
Based on the GRI Secretariat’s assessment of competitive bids from four countries, the Board has instructed the Secretariat to enter into negotiations with the Government of The Netherlands and the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague for the permanent siting of GRI Secretariat headquarters. The Secretariat will report back to the Board at its meeting on 3 April in New York.
GRI in NYC
GRI spent a very busy fortnight in New York City earlier this month. It opened with the first meeting of the Stakeholder Council Working Group, which began the task of assessing nominations received for positions on the Stakeholder Council. The Revisions Working Group also had its first meeting and began the process of reviewing feedback and recommendations from the Measurement Working Group, and started on revisions to the 2000 Guidelines.
Bob Massie, past Chair of the GRI Steering Committee and now on the GRI Board, attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. At the meeting the GRI was singled out as a key tool for companies to use when navigating complex issues in today’s economic climate. The GRI was also present at PrepComm 2 for the World Summit for Sustainable Development to be held later this year in Johannesburg. The GRI received special mention in the conference summary documents as essential in promoting sustainable development in a globalising world by increasing corporate responsibility and accountability.
Several members of the GRI Secretariat attended a two-day dialogue on health and stakeholder citizenship, convened by the Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future (formerly UNED Forum). GRI also met with several United Nations groups, and members of the media. The fortnight was concluded with an orientation meeting for the first Board of Directors.
Briefings in Italy and South Africa
GRI is reaching out to new stakeholders in Italy and South Africa in the coming months. On 8 March 2002 GRI will visit Milan, Italy for an event organised by Fondazione Enrico Eni Mattei. Later, GRI travels to South Africa with stops in Cape Town and Johannesburg from 23-28 May 2002.
Individual Stakeholders Top 1,100
More than 1,100 individuals from 66 countries have now registered their interest with the GRI as Individual Stakeholders. The top ten countries from which Individual Stakeholders hail are: USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, France, Japan, Netherlands, Germany. Join this network by registering as an Individual Stakeholder today.
Registering as an Individual Stakeholder is a formal indication of your support as an individual for the GRI mission, and provides you with regular updates and notice of opportunities to participate in the GRI process. Registration enables GRI to better understand its stakeholder network and to determine priorities for strengthening it.
Any person can register, whether new to the GRI process or a current participant. Please note that only individuals can register as Individual Stakeholders. Joining as an individual does not imply your organisation’s commitment or endorsement. A separate registration process for Organisational Stakeholders will be initiated after mid-2002. We encourage all parties to visit the GRI web site to find out more and register free.
More Organisations Release Sustainability Reports
More than 100 companies have released reports based on the GRI Guidelines. The following countries have the highest number of reporting companies: USA, UK, Japan, Sweden, Netherlands. We have been informed recently that the following organisations have prepared reports based on the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Cable & Wireless (UK)
City West Water (Australia)
Matsushita Electric Group (Japan)
Sinclair Knight Merz (Australia)
Since following the Guidelines is voluntary, companies are not obligated to inform GRI of adoption or use. However, to monitor GRI’s progress, and identify needs for GRI outreach and future Guidelines revisions, the Secretariat asks all such companies to inform the Secretariat of their use of the Guidelines at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are keeping a cumulative list on the web site of companies that state they used the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in preparing their reports.