The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
The Global Reporting Initiative was initially convened by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), a non-profit coalition of over 50 investor, environmental, religious, labour and social justice groups. Its vision is that "reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations is as routine and comparable as financial reporting.
The GRI has developed a set of core metrics intended to be applicable to all business enterprises, sets of sector-specific metrics for specific types of enterprisesand a uniform format for reporting information integral to a company's sustainability performance.
Since its inception, the GRI has become a worldwide, multi-stakeholder network which includes representatives from business, civil society, labour, investors, accountants and others. Revisions to the framework take place through an exhaustive set of committees and subcommittees, but the GRI says that its multi-stakeholder approach does ensure the credibility and trust needed to make a global framework successful.
In broad terms, the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines recommend specific information related to environmental, social and economic performance. It is structured around a CEO statement, key environmental, social and economic indicators, a profile of the reporting entity, descriptions of relevant policies and management systems, stakeholder relationships, management performance, operational performance, product performance and a sustainability overview.
I have written three separate pieces of analysis on the GRI since it was first created. The most recent two are shown below.
The Global Reporting Initiative is growing up
Regular readers will know that even though I have been a strong advocate of CSR / sustainability reporting I have been a GRI-sceptic for as long as it has existed. Why? Well, in the early days the indicator range was a poorly conceived hotch-potch of measures that really didn't tell you very much. (Published 25th July 2012)
The Global Reporting Initiative - leap forward or last gasp?
It was about four years ago that I first wrote an article focusing on the substance behind the Global Reporting Initiative. Whilst welcoming the mission of the GRI, and acknowledging the wide-ranging approval that had been granted to its multistakeholder approach, I felt that the quality of the actual indicator framework was poor. A great process that produces a duff product is not a great process at all. (Published Ethical Corporation March 2006). Read full story >>
For further information about the Global Reporting Initiative, visit the website at http://www.globalreporting.org