The development of the FRP reporting framework is a multi-stakeholder process for which Tellus and CERES serve as conveners and technical support. The framework is properly the product of this process, not of Tellus Institute or CERES. This spring, the FRP achieved an important project milestone in this multistakeholder processconvening the Projects Steering Panel and holding the first Panel Meeting. The steering panel is the top tier of this multi-stakeholder process, and is the FRPs primary consultative and advisory body.
Convening the FRP Steering Panel
The steering panel is the top tier of the FRPs multi-stakeholder process, and is its primary consultative and advisory body. The panel is a 14 member expert body whose members work in environmental, civil society and labor organizations, the private sector, and academia. Individuals on the panel represent themselves rather than their organizations; however, diversity of affiliation was used as one proxy for the diversity of viewpoints and experience required for the Project. Because the FRP is intended to be a voluntary standard that has credibility first and foremost with civil society and is practicable and useful for the business community, the steering panel does not include individuals with current regulatory affiliations.
The first Steering Panel meeting
The FRP Steering Panel met on May 1415 in Boston. At the May meeting, the Panel and Secretariat considered three primary agenda items:
* developing a detailed workplan and timeline for framework development,
* identifying reporting areas and elements of the GRI reporting guidelines that should be the
subject of greatest development and stakeholder consultation effort,
· providing guidance to the secretariat regarding stakeholder consultation efforts.
Under the workplan developed at the meeting, a draft reporting framework will be released for broad public comment in late 2003, with pilot testing on a revised framework beginning in early 2004. Stakeholder outreach will continue throughout the process. The next Steering Panel meeting is scheduled for late October 2003.
Baseline research on facility reporting
A key first task in the FRP workplan was a survey of the current state of facility-level reporting. This baseline research was completed in advance of the Steering Panel meeting in May. The research identified and compared a wide variety of reporting frameworks, initiatives and examples. Analysis of this information allowed the FRP to characterizing both the state of current practice and a set of noteworthy reporting practices and metrics. A number of analyses and a companion paper explaining them are available on the projects website at.
As the FRP framework is expected to be compatible to the extent possible with the GRIs 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the analyses use the GRIs reporting content and indicators as an organizing framework to compare the reporting frameworks, initiatives and examples identified in the baseline research. This approach also facilitated a gaps assessment of the GRI metrics vis a vis the needs of facility reporting. During the Steering Panel meeting, panelists used this matrix-based presentation of baseline research results to begin highlighting the elements of the GRI guidelines that should be the subject of revision and stakeholder consultation effort by the FRP.
Stakeholder outreach and consultation
The Steering Panel and the Secretariat will be informed in their work by the results of a broad stakeholder consultation process. The details of this effort have yet to be established, but are expected to involve the following elements:
* Virtual consultation groups and web-based feedback.
* Presentations at and sessions attached to existing conferences.
* Potentially, special-purpose workshops, either for single or multiple stakeholder groups.
* Limited vetting of preliminary drafts with facility-level stakeholder groups and opinion leaders
FRP documents and additional contact information are available on the FRP website,
http://www.facilityreporting.org. As the FRP develops, the website will be a central mechanism for
implementing the FRPs participatory process and reporting progress. We will update the website
frequently with new information and documents as they become available.