August 2003 Update of GRI

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 5 September 2003

The August 2003 update of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Subjects:
* Quote of the Month
* GRI Achieves 300 Reporter Target
* GRI Business Plan: Goals for 2003-2005
* GRI Chief Executive Responds to UN Sub-Commission ‘Norms’
* 130 Organisations Participating in the SFP
* Telecommunication Sector Supplement Released
* YOUR FEEDBACK NEEDED: Automotive Sector Supplement
* Eastern European Project Provides Encouraging Results
* New Faces at the Secretariat: Menno Wiemans, Nancy Bennet, Gaby Infante
* Register as an Organisational Stakeholder
* InterAct Forum: Materiality Debate Continues
* More Organisations Using the GRI Guidelines
Quote of the Month

"Organised labour at the global level – the ICFTU and the Global Union Federations as well as TUAC – have become involved with the GRI because we realise that the GRI Guidelines are becoming a de-facto industry standard in terms of non-financial reporting."

John Evans, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD
August 2003

GRI Achieves 300 Reporter Target

There are now 300 organisations issuing sustainability reports referencing the GRI Guidelines – doubling the total number of self-declared GRI reporters from this time last year. The 300 target is an important milestone in GRI’s development, demonstrating continued interest and uptake from around the world. See the list of new GRI reporters in this update below for more information.

GRI Business Plan: Goals for 2003-2005

GRI’s Board of Directors has approved a Business Plan which builds on past achievements and sets challenging targets to guide GRI operations over the next two years. Three main goals underpin GRI’s plan of action:

Double the number of organisations using GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines to prepare their reports. GRI has set 600 reporting organisations as the target, including at least 20 public authorities and civil society organisations.

Improve the delivery and use of its current products and develop new products in response to demand. GRI invites all parties to help identify new GRI tools and processes that can be developed on a project basis. Submit your project idea and how to fund it to:

Organisational Stakeholder (OS) recruitment: Organisational Stakeholders vote for Stakeholder Council members – who appoint GRI Board members. Join this important body, see more information:
Download the text of the Business Plan here:

GRI Chief Executive Responds to UN Sub-Commission ‘Norms’

GRI has welcomed the work of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, which it sees as a further step in catalysing and focusing discussion on how human rights can be advanced around the world in measurable, concrete and practical ways. The Sub-Commission released ‘Norms on the Responsibilities of Trans-national Corporations and Other Business Enterprise with Regard to Human Rights’ on 13 August 2003

The ‘Norms’, if adopted, would require corporations to report on measures taken to implement the Norms. GRI Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen stated "As further consideration is given to the Norms by the UN Human Rights Commission in the coming period, GRI stands ready to play its part in continuing to facilitate the promotion of human rights and sustainable development, both through the facilitation of dialogue between the constituencies, and through the use and further development of the GRI reporting framework by all organisations".

Read full statement by Ernst Ligteringen here: Find out more on the ‘Norms’ here:

130 Organisations Participating in the Structured Feedback Process

The key process for revising and improving the 2002 Guidelines was launched this month. Known as the Structured Feedback Process (SFP), its purpose is to gather feedback from reporters and report users on the 2002 Guidelines via questionnaire and regional or issues-based workshops. A key element of GRI is its commitment to continually improve, the SFP is part of this commitment, and affords all stakeholders to input their views on how to further strengthen GRI.

More than 130 organisations – including existing and potential reporters and report users – have registered to participate in the SFP. Due to this overwhelming response GRI has extended the registration period until 30 September. Learn more about the SFP or register your intent to participate here:

Telecommunications Sector Supplement Released!

The GRI recognises that sector-specific guidance must be developed to supplement the core information elicited in the general Guidelines. This is essential to enabling more robust and useful reporting – and to extend the applicability and uptake of the GRI Guidelines across sectors and around the world.

GRI is pleased to release the pilot version of the Telecommunications Sector Supplement for use in conjunction with the GRI 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (the Guidelines). This supplement was developed as part of the NESKEY project funded by the European Commission. GRI strongly encourages the uptake and use of this pilot supplement. Learning-by-doing has been the key force driving continued improvement in the GRI reporting framework. Download the supplement in pdf here:

This document represents the best thinking to date, developed through the GRI multi-stakeholder process, on sustainability performance indicators for the telecommunications sector, and is the culmination of almost a year of work with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and its many collaborators. GRI expresses it’s thanks to all those who participated in this process.

Your Input Needed: Automotive Sector Supplement

In 2002, the GRI and the United Nations Environment Programme Mobility Forum convened a multi-stakeholder working group with the purpose of developing an Automotive Sector Supplement to the 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. GRI is pleased to release a draft of the Automotive Sector Supplement for public comment. All comments should be returned by 5 November 2003. We welcome thoughts and suggestions on how to improve the document, including recommendations on specific wording. We would appreciate your submitting comments using the form included in the supplement, and also attached as a word document here. All comments received will be made publicly available. More information on the supplement can be found here:

Eastern European Project Provides Encouraging Results

In 2002, GRI and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), with the assistance of the Central European University (CEU), and csr network, initiated a project on introducing corporate sustainability reporting in emerging free market democracies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The project involved 10 companies from eight countries in the region, along with three western companies and one NGO. As a result of this project, five of the organisations have – or are expected to – release a sustainability report, and Guidelines translation into Russian is now underway. To read a summary on the project and lessons learned click here:

New Faces at the Secretariat

Menno Wiemans joined the Secretariat in August as the GRI’s Financial Manager. He brings more than 12 years experience in auditing and financial management to the Secretariat. Menno has been with ING for almost a decade, most recently with ING The Netherlands as Manager of Financial Services & Control and HR, and earlier with ING Insurance Belgium. Prior to working for ING Menno lived and worked in Singapore for four years as General Manager of The Netherlands Insurance Company.

GRI would like to extend its gratitude to ING for offering Menno’s expertise and services as an in-kind contribution to GRI.

Nancy Bennet was appointed GRI Fundraising and Relationship Manager in August. Ms. Bennet, formerly the UNEP representative on the GRI Steering Committee from 1997. From 1992 to 1999, Ms. Bennet was based in Paris, France with the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. As co-ordinator of UNEP DTIE’s industry outreach programme, Ms. Bennet led UNEP’s train-the trainer activities in environmental management systems and the joint UNEP-Sustainability Ltd Engaging Stakeholders programme on corporate environmental and sustainability reporting.

Gaby Infante, a Peruvian national, joined GRI in late July 2003 as a receptionist.

Register as an Organisational Stakeholder

Is your organisation a subscriber to GRI yet?

Organisational Stakeholders (OS) — comprising organisations of any type, size, and location — are a critical element in GRI’s governance structure. OS from business, civil society advocacy organisations, labour, and mediating institutions (e.g., foundations, governments) elect the Stakeholder Council which, in turn, appoints the GRI Board of Directors. GRI invites organisations worldwide to register as Organisational Stakeholders. More information can be found here:

InterAct Forum: Materiality Debate Continues

GRI launched the first of a series of on-line discussions on the Inter-Act Forum in July, and invite all interested parties to contribute their thoughts. The first issue discussed on Inter-Act is Materiality. Click here to read GRI’s perspective on this subject and join the 20 individuals who have let their opinion be known so far. For the September news update, GRI will provide a synopsis of all submissions, and introduce a new topic for on-line debate.

If you have questions about your logon/password please contact the webmaster. We are looking forward to reading your contribution on Inter-Act:

More Organisations Using the GRI Guidelines

The organisations listed below have prepared reports using the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, and registered their report with GRI over the past month. In welcoming the use of the Guidelines by these organisations, GRI notes that their inclusion on the list below and on our website does not imply the report’s conformance to the Guidelines.

If you know of an organisation referencing the GRI Guidelines, please register here: For a searchable list of all reporters, visit

New GRI-Based Reporters:
Asociacion Española de Contabilidad y Administracion de Empresas (Spain) British American Tobacco (Mauritius) Carrefour (France) Dexia (Belgium) DVV insurances (Belgium) Grupo Ferrovial (Spain) HEMA (The Netherlands) INDITEX (Spain) Nuon (The Netherlands) Österrichische Bundesforste (ÖBf) (Austria) Premier Oil (USA) Statoil (Norway) Sony (Japan) Telefónica (Spain) Union Fenosa (Spain) VA Tech (Austria) Verbund (Austria)

New In-Accordance Reporters:
BT Group (United Kingdom)
Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) (Chile) Telefónica Móviles España (Spain) CESPA (Spain)
Inditex (Spain)