October 2003 GRI update

Source: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), 3 October 2003

The October 2003 update of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Contents:

* Quote of the month
* Japan tops reporter league table – 60!
* Dutch government funds work on boundaries
* New Interact Forum topic: Boundaries
* Interact Forum: Summary of materiality discussion Madrid? Make it a date!
* GRI Board re-elects chair
* Construction zone: product development underway
* Show your support for GRI
* Crunching numbers
* GRI on the road and in the news
* More organisations using the Guidelines
Quote of the month

"Currently, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is increasingly regarded as the ‘best available’ model for corporate disclosure on social, environmental and ethical issues. … As part of Henderson’s overall Activism Policy, we commend the GRI Guidelines and encourage companies (across all our funds) to work towards reporting in full accordance with them." Henderson Asset Management September 2003

Japan tops reporter league table – 60!

Already a world leader in life cycle analysis and quality management, Japanese businesses have now taken to sustainability reporting. Representing the country with the highest number of GRI-based reporters, Japanese companies also show evidence of accelerated uptake trends. According to a study released by the Fujitsu Research Institute this month, 54% (over 800 companies) of those listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange disclose information about their environmental performance publicly.

GRI Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen will attend the UNEP Finance Initiatives Global Roundtable "Sustainable Value – A Meeting on Finance and Sustainability" held in Tokyo on 20-21 October.

Dutch government funds work on boundaries

If a company has 20,000 suppliers from whom they procure paperclips, toxic chemicals and everything in between, how does it prioritize which suppliers are relevant to include in assessing its sustainability performance? With generous funding form the Dutch Government, GRI will soon begin a 15-month project to develop guidance on setting boundaries for sustainability reports. GRI is forming a working group which will convene early next year to begin deliberations on some of the toughest questions facing reporting organisations.

New Interact Forum topic: Boundaries: What are the top boundary-related questions that the GRI working group should consider? Join this month’s InterAct Forum conversation, and enter your ideas here : http://www.globalreporting.org/forum

Interact Forum: Summary of materiality discussion

GRI’s first e-discussion yielded diverse and exciting opinions from dozens of contributors on this controversial issue. We have closed this topic, and prepared a summary of the discussion, available here: http://www.globalreporting.org/feedback/newforum/materiality.pdf Your inputs will help GRI continually improve the reporting framework, and are available on-line as reference material for all those looking for more information on this issue. Thanks to all those who participated, we are looking forward to your continued interest in our next topic: BOUNDARIES. http://www.globalreporting.org/forum

Madrid? Make it a date!

On October 21st 2003 join industry, government and civil society leaders at a special event in Madrid. The agenda includes discussion on GRI and how to further engage all stakeholders in Spain, and the official launch of the 2002 Guidelines in Spanish. GRI is thankful to the team of translators (http://www.globalreporting.org/guidelines/translations.asp) who have made it possible to launch the 2002 Guidelines in Spanish. There are now 18 GRI reporters in Spain (http://www.globalreporting.org/guidelines/rep_country.asp?country=131 ). GRI Director of Strategic Development Paul Hohnen will attend the event. If you are interested in participating contact Ramón Pueyo at ramon@ecodes.org for more information.

GRI Board re-elects chair

During its meeting in Amsterdam on 11-12 September, the Board of Directors unanimously elected Judy Henderson as its chair. Dr. Henderson has served as GRI’s chair since the inception of the Board one year ago. Get to know Dr. Henderson and the other members of GRI’s Board here http://www.globalreporting.org/governance/board.asp

Construction zone: product development underway

* In partnership with UNEP-FI, GRI has convened a working group to complete a sector supplement for financial services, covering environmental indicators. The working group met for the first time in Geneva for an introductory session in September. This work builds on previous work for the financial services sector on social indicators, and hopes to contribute to the link between sustainable development and the financial sector. More here: http://www.globalreporting.org/guidelines/sectors/spi2001.asp

* A draft of the automotive sector supplement has been released for public comment. Your input is valued, please submit your comments before 5 November 2003. More here: http://www.globalreporting.org/guidelines/sectors/automotive.asp

* Almost 150 organisations registered to participate in the Structured Feedback Process (SFP). This process is the first step in a multi-year plan for revising and improving the GRI reporting framework. Thanks to all those who joined, and watch this space (http://www.globalreporting.org/feedback/SFP.asp)a for updates as the program rolls on with the presentation of a first feedback assessment and additional feedback possibilities at six regional roundtables (one per continent). We will start with the South American Regional SFP Roundtable on December 10 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (organized in cooperation with the Global Compact Learning Forum 2003), followed by the other continents between January and March 2004. To register for a region roundtable: http://www.globalreporting.org/news/events/2003/roundtables.asp

Show your support for GRI

GRI derives its legitimacy from balanced, global, multi-stakeholder participation at all levels: governance, working groups and secretariat. To further develop this participation and support, GRI offers all organisations the opportunity to become Organisational Stakeholders (OS). By becoming an OS for a small annual fee, organisations publicly demonstrate their support for sustainability reporting and are eligible to vote on the composition of GRI’s Stakeholder Council, among other benefits. These contributions are a concrete and essential way to maintain the GRI’s capacity to fulfil its mission.
Join Today! http://www.globalreporting.org/governance/OSregistration.pdf

Crunching numbers

Sustainability reporting is on the rise, and is increasingly linked with best practice. SAM (Sustainability Asset Management) recently compared companies listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) with companies that issue GRI-based reports. Over 30% of those listed on both DJSI World and DJSI STOXX are GRI reporters. 10 of the 18 Market Sector Leaders on both DJSI World and DJSI STOXX are GRI-based reporters. GRI thanks SAM for compiling these figures.

GRI on the road and in the news

GRI attended events in Hong Kong, Brussels, Geneva and Amsterdam over the past month. GRI looks forward to an active few months ahead, view our upcoming commitments here: http://www.globalreporting.org/news/events.asp

Stories about GRI appeared in the following publications over the past month: -Financial TImes -Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch Financial Daily) -Ethical Corporation -Socialfunds.com -Mott Mosaic

More organisations using the 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: http://www.globalreporting.org/guidelines/addReporter1.asp For a searchable list of all reporters, visit http://www.globalreporting.org/reporters

New GRI-Based Reporters:

Abbott Laboratories (USA)
Allergan (USA)
BAT Maulitius (Maulitius)
BMW Group (Germany)
Corus Staal (Netherlands)
Expro International (UK)
Iberdrola (Spain)
Proventia Group (Finland)

New In Accordance Reporters:

SAB Millar (South Africa)