Special GRI UPDATE – WORLD SUMMIT ISSUE
* 2002 Guidelines Released
* GRI at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
* Call for Nominations for Stakeholder Council
* Join the Dialogue!
* Paul Hohnen Appointed GRI Vice-President of Strategy
* New GRI Secretariat Office in Amsterdam to Open This Month
* More Organisations Use the Guidelines
2002 Guidelines Released
The 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were formally released on 31 August in Johannesburg, South Africa at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Initially available in electronic form on the GRI web site, the Guidelines will be available in hard copy shortly. View the press release on the GRI website.
Approximately 200 people attended a half-day GRI seminar on "Measurement, Transparency, and Accountability" to officially launch the Guidelines. Speakers included: Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Honourable Mervyn King, Chair of the South African King Committee on Corporate Governance; Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP; Yolanda Kakabadse, President of IUCN; Nyameko Barney Pityana, Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa, and other South African and world thought leaders.
The GRI Board of Directors approved release of the 2002 version of the Guidelines after two years of testing and refinement by a diversity of stakeholders. (Full text of public comments on the draft Guidelines is available on the GRI web site.) Representatives from business, social and environmental advocacy groups, accounting bodies, labour, government, the investment community, and others participated in working groups and pilot tests to develop indicators and related Guidelines content. This is the third version of the Guidelines following earlier versions in March 1999 and June 2000.
The 2002 Guidelines introduce the concept of reporting "in accordance" with the Guidelines. In accordance requires higher levels of transparency, coverage, and structure than informal reporting, as well as a signature by the board or chief executive of the reporting organisation stating attesting to a "balanced and reasonable" report. Recognising that one size does not fit all, GRI presents a range of reporting options to encourage reporters at all levels of experience and resources to use the Guidelines.
Improvements since the 2000 version also include significantly expanded social and economic indicators, suggested inclusion by reporters of a cross-referenced table so readers can track content and compare reports more readily, and revised discussion on the principles that underpin sustainability reporting.
GRI at the World Summit on Sustainable Development
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) 2002, the largest United Nations convention ever, is currently taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will continue through 4 September 2002. At the Summit, GRI is showcasing its partnerships in developing countries and utilising the opportunity presented by the assembly of government, business, labour and NGO leaders to broaden and deepen such partnerships. The WSSD has been extremely productive for GRI. A summary of GRI’s participation at WSSD will be available in the coming weeks.
GRI activities at the Summit include:
* Introduction of the 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines at a parallel event to the Summit on 31 August
* GRI Briefing at IUCN Business Day, 31 August
* GRI Briefing at IUCN "Partnerships of the Future" Day, 4 September
* Display booth (#77) at the Ubuntu Village exhibition from 17 August-7 September.
Call for Nominations for Stakeholder Council
The GRI is pleased to announce an open call for nominations for the remaining 24 members of the first GRI Stakeholder Council. This process will continue until 15 November 2002. The Stakeholder Council is a unique and key component of GRI governance. As a formal policy forum, the Stakeholder Council will debate key issues and will advise the GRI Board of Directors. The Council also will play a role in Board selection and in regional profile building. With the addition of 24 members, the Stakeholder Council will have 60 members, comprising balances of stakeholders and geographic regions. The initial 36 members will review nominations to fill the remaining slots. Stakeholders from regions under-represented among the first 36 Councillors are encouraged to apply. Those regions, with stakeholder constituency in brackets, are: Africa (business), Asia/Pacific (civil society), Latin America (mediating institutions) and West Asia (business and civil society). Please visit the GRI web site for more details on the Stakeholder Council and for a nomination form.
Join the Dialogue!
In response to ongoing inquiries from a range of stakeholders, and with a desire to further enhance dialogue on sustainability reporting issues, we have established a portion of the GRI web site as an interactive forum. We have seeded this page with issues frequently posed to the Secretariat and Board, along with perspectives on such issues. We invite interested parties to submit additional issues or questions for this forum.
The GRI Secretariat will provide its perspective and urges others to do so as well. Sharing your perspectives is integral to making this a true dialogue, and to developing a deeper understanding of stakeholder views. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Hohnen Appointed GRI Vice-President of Strategy
On 23 August, GRI Acting Chief Executive Allen White announced the appointment of Paul Hohnen as the GRI’s first Vice-President of Strategy. "As a former senior Australian diplomat, Director of Greenpeace International and independent consultant on sustainability issues, Paul will be a major asset to the GRI as it moves ahead with its multi-stakeholder mission of creating a globally accepted framework for sustainability reporting", said White. "Paul’s respect and experience in the NGO, business, and government communities brings the kind of integrated vision that has characterised GRI from the outset." Hohnen, who has been working in recent months as Consulting Senior Adviser to the GRI, has taken up his new role during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, where he joins the GRI team in numerous roundtables, forums, and workshops.
New GRI Secretariat Office in Amsterdam to Open This Month
The first members of the permanent GRI Secretariat are currently relocating to new headquarters in central Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Temporary contact details are provided below. Please bear with us as we make this transition, as there may be temporary communications slowdowns. During the transition all Secretariat staff will continue to receive e-mails at their current addresses ("lastname"@globalreporting.org). Please check the GRI website for updates on the Secretariat relocation process, including release of the permanent phone and fax contact details. You may continue to reach the Interim Secretariat in Boston at +1 617 266 9384. To commemorate the office opening, the Office of the Mayor of Amsterdam will host a reception on 18 September. Approximately 100 representatives of local and national government, business, civil society, labour, and the media will attend.
Temporary Contact Details in Amsterdam:
Tel: +31 (0) 20 520 6860
Fax: +31 (0) 20 520 7510
The Secretariat appreciates your patience during this transition period.
More Organisations Use the Guidelines
We have been informed that the organisations listed below have prepared reports using the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Alliant Energy (USA)
British American Tobacco (UK)
Gaz de France (France)
Landcare Australia (Australia)
Safeway plc (UK)
SKF Group (Sweden)
Teck Cominco (Canada)