GRI Update February 2001

Source: Global Reporting Initiative, 5 March 2001

**Major Guidelines Improvement Effort Launched

The revision of the June 2000 first edition of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines is just getting under way. One key area of revision work is the performance section (Part C, Section 6) of the Guidelines. Work on this section is taking place through the Measurement Working Group (MWG). We announce the initial subgroup topics of the MWG on the web page noted below.

The GRI is actively seeking candidates to join these subgroups and participate directly in the revision of the Guidelines. We have already received indication of interest from dozens of people worldwide. We ask others to let us know of their interest no later than 9 March. The Secretariat will work with the MWG chairs and subgroup coordinators to assemble the subgroups. This may involve active recruitment of members in order to achieve geographical and stakeholder balance in the subgroups. We expect to complete formation of the subgroups by 16 March.

** Institutionalisation Section Added to GRI Web Site

In a continuing effort to inform and include all stakeholders in the discussions and activities in GRIs transition to a permanent institution, we have created an Institutionalisation section on the GRI web site. At present, the section includes the rationale for institutionalisation, a comprehensive presentation on possible governance structures, details on the Board of Directors nominating committee, and information on the Secretariat siting process. We will add details on the Stakeholder Council and Technical Advisory Council to this web page as they become available. As well, a comprehensive transition timeline and an archive of the institutionalisation steps taken will be made available shortly.

**Site Selection Process Begins

Since its inception, the GRI Interim Secretariat has been based in Boston, USA. This Secretariat has been recognised as interim and subject to review once creation of the permanent GRI was under way.

The GRI Secretariat, informed by external experts and other GRI participants, has selected 51 global cities as possible locations for the permanent GRI Secretariat. The GRI Steering Committee and Secretariat have developed a phased process for identifying a short-list of candidate cities. Following the first phase of analysis, further research and extensive discussions will be undertaken with the governments and other stakeholders in these cities (and countries). The GRI Steering Committee will make its siting recommendations to the new Board of Directors in October-November 2001.

**Government Body Specifies GRI Reporting in Innovative Agreement

Wisconsin Electric (a private U.S. utility) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (a government agency) signed an Environmental Cooperative Agreement in early February that, among other things, requires Wisconsin Electric to prepare an annual environmental performance report in accordance with GRIs Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. As part of the agreement, Wisconsin Electric must demonstrate measurable improvements in environmental performance, implement an environmental management system, and expand its stakeholder involvement program. In exchange, Wisconsin Electric will benefit through permit streamlining, alternative monitoring, and more flexible operations. This is the first specification of the Guidelines in a legal agreement of which we are aware.

** Sustainability Reporting Gains Momentum

We have been informed that the following organisations have prepared reports that were influenced by the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Fuji Xerox (Japan)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Netherlands)
Konica (Japan)
Nissan (Japan)
Ricoh (Japan)
Saint-Gobain (France)
Suncor Energy (Canada)

Since following the Guidelines is entirely voluntary, companies are not obligated to inform GRI of adoption or use. However, to monitor GRIs progress, and identify needs for GRI outreach and future Guidelines revisions, the Secretariat asks all such companies to inform the secretariat of their use of the Guidelines at We are keeping a cumulative list of companies that state they considered the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines in preparing their reports.