April 2002 Update Global Reporting Initiative

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 25 April 2002

April 2002 Update Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

* Inauguration Event at United Nations – A Milestone
* First GRI Board Chair Selected – Dr. Judy Henderson
* GRI Secretariat is Amsterdam-Bound
* Dr. Allen White Appointed Acting Chief Executive
* Chief Executive Search Commences
* GRI Charter Group – A Diverse Show of Support
* Draft 2002 Guidelines Available for Public Comment
* Conference Coming in Malaysia
* GRI Seeks Collaborators for International AIDS Conference
* More Organisations Release Sustainability Reports
Inauguration Event at United Nations – A Milestone

The Global Reporting Initiative was formally inaugurated as a permanent, independent institution at an event held on 4 April at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Louise Frechette, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations opened the day’s activities, followed by a diverse panel of speakers who delivered provocative speeches. The event was attended by more than 250 leaders from business, NGOs, labour organisations, the investment community, several official UN delegations from countries, and many others who have contributed to the development of the GRI and the Guidelines over the past five years. Click here to view the agenda, speeches, photos, press release, and the official Inauguration booklet.

First GRI Board Chair Selected – Dr. Judy Henderson

Dr. Judy Henderson was unanimously selected by her peers on the GRI Board of Directors to be the first Chair, a position she will hold until the first Annual General Meeting of the GRI, approximately one year from now. Dr. Henderson brings to the position an extensive record of involvement in global sustainability issues. She was a member of the Australian delegation to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. She was formerly: Chair of Oxfam International, a Board member of Greenpeace International, and Commissioner on the World Commission on Dams. She is the immediate past Chair of Australian Ethical Investment Ltd. and is a member of the advisory Board for the Centre for Australian Ethical Research. She is also currently a Board Member of the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority. Learn more about the GRI Board of Directors here.

GRI Secretariat is Amsterdam Bound

At its 3 April meeting, the Board of Directors approved Amsterdam as the site for the GRI Secretariat headquarters. The siting process has enjoyed broad-based governmental support at the national and municipal levels. GRI Board Chair Judy Henderson noted that, "Amsterdam provides excellent access to the international business and investment community, labour, NGOs, the corporate social responsibility community and other stakeholder constituencies." GRI plans to open the Amsterdam headquarters in September 2002. A regional office in North America will be maintained, followed by other regional units in the next 12-24 months. See the associated press release for more information.

Dr. Allen White Appointed Acting Chief Executive

The GRI Board of Directors appointed Dr. Allen L. White as Acting Chief Executive at its 3 April meeting. Dr. White has served as GRI’s Director for the past three years, managing operations of the Interim Secretariat and serving as principal liaison to the former Steering Committee. He has played a critical role in GRI’s strategic planning and in designing its overall Sustainability Reporting Guidelines development approach. Dr. White will serve in an acting role until a permanent Chief Executive is in place.

Chief Executive Search Commences

The GRI Board of Directors has commenced a search for a new Chief Executive. The Chief Executive will manage the Secretariat and report to the Board of Directors. The Chief Executive will work with these bodies as well as the Stakeholder Council and Technical Advisory Council to shape GRI’s strategy and operations. Click here for Chief Executive position announcement.

GRI Charter Group – A Diverse Show of Support

To ensure continued viability, GRI invited a variety of leading international organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the GRI mission at the time of inauguration by becoming members of the Charter Group. The Charter Group is a diverse group of companies, civil society organisations and multi-lateral organisations committed to ensuring GRI’s long-term success through strategic, financial and/or operational support. See more details and a complete listing of Charter Group members here.

Draft 2002 Guidelines Available for Public Comment

The GRI is pleased to release the Draft Version of the 2002 GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for public review and comment. The road to this Draft Version of the Guidelines began in July 2000, immediately after release of the June 2000 Guidelines. The process has benefited from the involvement of hundreds of organisations and individuals, including both reporters and report users. GRI pursued a consensus-based, multi-stakeholder consultative process to develop this Draft 2002 Version.

The public comment period will end on 26 May 2002. GRI encourages comments from all parties on all aspects of the Draft Guidelines, including its overall architecture, flow, content, and usability. The feedback will inform the Revision Working Group’s improvements to the draft, which in turn will lead to a final version submitted to the GRI Board for its review and approval in late June 2002. The scheduled release of the 2002 Guidelines is July 2002. All public comments will be posted on the GRI website, without attribution if so requested. View draft G

Conference Coming in Malaysia

From 16 – 19 July the GRI will be in Malaysia. The event in Kuala Lumpur is co-organised by the Environmental Protection Society of Malaysia and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. The conference sponsor is the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia. Visit the GRI events page to register and for more information.

GRI Seeks Collaborators for International AIDS Conference

A grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding a special project within the GRI to create public disclosure guidelines for corporate action on HIV/AIDS. We are gearing up for the XVI International AIDS Conference to be held in July in Barcelona. The GRI is looking to collaborate with individuals and organisations in our network for this event. Please contact Alyson Slater (slater@globalreporting.org) if your organisation has plans to attend Barcelona this summer.

More Organisations Release Sustainability Reports

We have been informed that the following organisations have prepared reports using the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Cosmo Oil (Japan)
Integral Energy (Australia)
McDonald’s (USA)
Volkswagen (Germany)
WMC (Australia)

Since the GRI Guidelines are 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 info@globalreporting.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.