The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international sustainability reporting institution, will be formally inaugurated at a luncheon event to be held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on 4 April 2002 at 13:00. Incubating under the auspices of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since 1997, the invitation-only event will mark the inauguration of GRI as a permanent, independent global institution.
Government, corporate, NGO, labour, and investment leaders from around the world will be in attendance. Expected speakers include:
· Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, United Nations
· Anna Diamantopoulou, European Union Commissioner for Employment & Social Affairs
· Tsuguoki Fujinama, President, International Federation of Accountants
· Yolanda Kakabadse, President, The World Conservation Union
· Irene Khan, Secretary-General, Amnesty International
· Dr. Nyameko Barney Pityana, Vice-Chancellor, University of South Africa
· John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO
· Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons Ltd.
· Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
· Richard Wagoner, President and CEO, General Motors
· Margot Wallström, European Union Commissioner for the Environment
· Timothy Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation
GRIs mandate is to elevate sustainability reporting on environmental and social performance to a level equivalent to financial reporting. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines have been used by more than 110 pioneering companies worldwide including BASF, Danone, Electrolux, Ford, KLM, NEC, Nike, Nokia, Shell, and South African Breweries.
Corporate disclosure, transparency and reporting will be important stories in 2002, said CERES Executive Director and GRI Board member Robert Kinloch Massie. But its not only because of Enron. The GRI marks the dawn of a new era of corporate transparency. By providing standardised disclosure guidelines for reporting on economic, environmental and social performance, GRI greatly improves the prospects for aligning business interests with societal interests.
The 4 April event will include the formal introduction of GRIs Board of Directors as well as an update on progress toward the location of GRIs new global headquarters in Europe.