BSR Releases New Report for the GRI: Reporting on Economic Impacts

Source: BSR, 6 December 2005

Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has released a new report that reviews how well the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Economic Performance Indicators have been applied by 33 companies, including GE, McDonald’s, Novo Nordisk, Shell, Starbucks and Toyota. "Reporting on Economic Impacts" evaluates how the Economic Performance Indicators have been used and proposes recommendations for updating the GRI Guidelines.
BSR’s new report addresses direct, indirect and local economic impacts based on the most recent sustainability reports released by a cross-section of companies. For each of these dimensions, "Reporting on Economic Impacts" explains BSR’s findings and conclusions, the implications for Guideline revisions, and recommended changes to ensure the clarity, comparability and assurability of the GRI Economic Performance Indicators.

"Economic impact is not about changes in the financial health of the organization itself," explains Dunstan Hope, a BSR Director in Advisory Services. "For example, a company may impact on the economic well being of employees or local communities; and through the sale of its products and services may impact on the productivity, competitiveness or growth of a national economy. This change in economic circumstance is important to understanding an organization’s social and environmental impacts," Hope said.

The "G3" Revision is the second major overhaul of the GRI Guidelines. BSR is involved in the Revision process, which includes extensive, structured feedback and stakeholder input to issue updated GRI Guidelines in October 2006. Through its participation in this process, BSR has been reviewing the GRI Economic Performance Indicators established in 2002, which were designed to measure corporate impacts on the economic circumstances of its stakeholders and the local, national and international economy.

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