Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Call for public to help improve sustainability reporting on anti-corruption and greenhouse gas emissions

Sustainability reporting experts are calling on professionals and organizations to help improve the way companies report on anti-corruption and greenhouse gas emissions, by providing feedback on draft guidance before 12 November 2012.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is asking the public to comment on sustainability reporting guidance developed by expert working groups, helping improve sustainability reporting on these issues.

GRI produces a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world. GRI is now working on the next generation of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines – G4. An Exposure Draft of G4 is currently available for feedback until 25 September. As part of the development process, an additional Public Comment Period is now open for organizations and individuals to share their views and help shape reporting on anti-corruption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Proposed new guidance from GRI’s Anti-Corruption Working Group will enable companies to report information on their policy, their publicly stated commitment to zero tolerance of corruption, their training of employees, governance bodies and business partners on anti-corruption, and their collective action initiatives towards combating corruption.

Stakeholders who read reports will understand better the total monetary value of financial and in-kind political contributions made by the company, as well as the organization’s values, principles, codes of conduct, codes of ethics, standards and behavior.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and reporting is a fast-moving area, and one covered by increasing regulatory requirements. Public interest in this area is growing rapidly, and demands for information about companies’ emissions will continue to increase as climate change continues.

The GHG Emissions Working Group has proposed new content for G4 that more closely aligns GRI’s guidance with the GHG Protocol set of standards, jointly released by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the ISO 14064 standard produced by the International Standards Organization for Standardization.

Bastian Buck, Senior Manager – Reporting Framework at the Global Reporting Initiative, explains why people should provide feedback: “It’s important that the G4 Guidelines adequately reflect recent discussions on anti-corruption and GHG emissions to enable meaningful reporting on these important topics. By commenting on the proposed anti-corruption and GHG emissions updates, the public can help improve sustainability reporting in these areas.”

A 90-day Public Comment Period is now open, and the public can comment on the proposals until 12 November 2012. 

1. About the Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) produces a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world, to enable greater organizational transparency. The Framework, including the Reporting Guidelines, sets out the Principles and Indicators organizations can use to report their economic, environmental, and social performance. GRI is committed to continuously improving and increasing the use of the Guidelines, which are freely available to the public.

2. About G4

G4 is GRI’s fourth generation of Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and is now in development. G4 is part of GRI’s commitment to the continuous development of its Guidelines. G4 aims to meet the following development priorities:

• to offer guidance in a user-friendly way, so that beginners can easily understand and use the Guidelines
• to improve the technical quality of the Guidelines’ content in order to better support reporting organizations when preparing the report information and information users when using it
• to align with other international disclosure standards and relevant metrics
• to improve guidance on identifying “material” content – from different stakeholders perspective – to be included in the sustainability reports
• to offer guidance on how to link the sustainability reporting process to the preparation of Integrated Report aligned with the guidance to be developed by International Integrated reporting Council (IIRC)

G4 will be launched at GRI’s Global Conference in May 2013.

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