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A quick introduction to GRI

On 3 October 2011, in News, by Andrew Bennett
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The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization that produces a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world. GRI is committed to the Framework’s continuous improvement and application worldwide. GRI’s core goals include the mainstreaming of disclosure on environmental, social and governance performance.

GRI’s Reporting Framework is developed through a consensus-seeking, multi-stakeholder process. Participants are drawn from global business, civil society, labor, academic and professional institutions.

GRI Reporting Framework

The Reporting Framework sets out the principles and Performance Indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance.

The cornerstone of the Framework is the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The third version of the Guidelines – known as the G3 Guidelines – was published in 2006, and is a free public good, with version G3.1 being the current version.  Version 4 has just been released for comment and will focus on taking integrated reporting forward.

Integrated Reporting

Integrated Reporting is a form of corporate reporting that brings together material information about an organization’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects in a way that reflects the commercial, political, social and environmental context within which it operates. It provides a clear and concise representation of how an organization creates value, now and in the future.

Integrated Reporting already has a considerable profile, and will have a big impact. Through Integrated Reporting, it is expected that many more companies and their stakeholders will become aware of sustainability performance measurement and disclosure and start acting on this information. GRI supports the development of Integrated Reporting as it has the potential to make a large contribution to the mainstreaming disclosure of sustainability impacts.

Several significant developments have already taken place with regards to Integrated Reporting. In 2010, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange made a listing requirement that companies must produce an integrated report or explain why not (King III Report). In the same year, globally 13 percent of the sustainability reports tracked by are stated to be integrated reports by their preparers. Finally, 2010 also saw the establishment of the International Integrated Reporting Committee.

Benefits of GRI Reporting

Sustainability reports based on the GRI Framework can be used to demonstrate organizational commitment to sustainable development, to compare organizational performance over time, and to measure organizational performance with respect to laws, norms, standards and voluntary initiatives.

GRI promotes a standardized approach to reporting to stimulate demand for sustainability information – benefitting both reporting organizations and report users.

Sector Supplements

GRI Sector Supplements are tailored versions of the GRI Guidelines. Sector Supplements help to make sustainability reports more relevant, and easier to produce.

Some sectors face unique issues, such as noise for the airports sector, or resettlement of people in the mining and metals sector. Sector Supplements capture the relevant issues essential to sustainability reporting in a specific sector. These issues may not appear in the GRI Guidelines since they are relevant primarily for a specific range of reporting organizations or sectors.

For more information about the GRI visit www.globalreporting.org

 

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