CERES and the Tellus Institute released the draft guidance for facility-level sustainability reporting for public comment. All interested parties are encouraged to submit comments through September 10, 2004.
The Draft Facility Reporting Guidance is the product of the Facility Reporting Project (FRP). In 2003, CERES and the Tellus Institute jointly launched the FRP as a multi-stakeholder effort to develop consistent, comparable, and credible economic, environmental and social reporting guidance for individual facilities in the United States. Major initial funding was provided by the Joyce Foundation of Chicago; additional funding has been provided by the Multi-State Working Group (MSWG).
CERES and Tellus serve as the Secretariat of the FRP. The FRP Secretariat developed the Draft Reporting Guidance in consultation with a multi-stakeholder advisory group of report makers, report users, and other experts. These stakeholders were drawn from large and small businesses, civil society organizations, trade unions, and investors across the United States. This FRP Steering Panel met in May and October 2003.
The FRP Secretariat and Steering Panel reviewed a variety of facility reporting frameworks and indicator sets, before deciding that the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI’s) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for organization-level reporting provided the best compatibility standard for facility reporting. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines were developed through a multi-stakeholder process and is emerging as the generally accepted reporting standard at the corporate level. The FRP has consulted closely with the GRI regarding the fit between facility level guidance and the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The Draft FRP Guidance released today is not a GRI product; however, the two groups will continue to explore how the FRP Guidance may be integrated into the GRI reporting framework and portfolio of documents in the future.
The FRP believes that its Reporting Guidance will strengthen facility accountability to civil society and other facility stakeholders while providing organizations and institutions owning and operating facilities with a tool to enhance performance at the facility level.
Debra Hall, Director of Accountability Programs at CERES, noted that This Facility Reporting Exposure Draft is being posted to invite public comments and encourage discussion of the proposed scope of the reporting as well as the appropriateness of particular indicators. We welcome suggestions on how to improve the clarity and user-friendliness document, so that it can be taken up by smaller enterprises as well as multi-national companies that manage facility-level data in real time using extensive environmental information systems.
We are also eager to identify companies and other organizations such as universities or governments who would be interested in participating in a facility reporting pilot test in 2005, reporting on year 2004 performance.
Following the public comment on this Draft, the FRP Secretariat expects to revise the document for release as the pilot version by late fall 2004.