GRI Conference Update, 2015/2020 Reporting Goals

by | May 27, 2010

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The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which is hosting its 2010 Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency in Amsterdam through Friday, announced two new goals for 2015 and 2020 at the conference.

The first is to require all large and medium-sized companies in OECD countries and fast-growing emerging economies to report publicly on their ESG performance, or if they don’t, explain why. The second is to see a standard for integrated reporting adopted by 2020.

In keeping with the spirit of the new goals, Puma used the conference as an opportunity to announce that it would require 20 key suppliers in Southeast Asia to issue their own sustainability reports from 2011 onward. Twenty strategic suppliers will receive GRI certified training on transparent measurement and reporting on their sustainability performance using the GRI G3 Guidelines.

GRI released its “Carrots and Sticks” report today, providing an update on trends in sustainability reporting and disclosure.

The report tracks countries with developed economies in the OECD, as well as some emerging economies. The report found 142 country standards or laws through 30 select countries, two-thirds of which can be classified as mandatory requirements, with the rest being voluntary.

It also cited research by accounting firm KPMG indicating that 79 percent of 250 companies surveyed are reporting sustainability information. National governments are beginning to play a larger role in ensuring minimum disclosure regulations, while voluntary reporting is also becoming more common. Integration between corporate governance, finance and sustainability reporting is also occurring.

The report encourages an increasingly active role by governments in establishing minimum disclosure requirements, while leaving enough room for innovation in voluntary reporting practices. To encourage this, governments should continue to reward companies that go above and beyond minimum reporting requirements. Mandatory requirements should also be simplified in order to promote compliance.

During the conference, Deloitte will be premiering its Business Simulation Game, which is designed to accelerate the implementation of corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives via stakeholder engagement and development of leadership capabilities.

The game enables companies to experiment with a realistic model of their company and its immediate external environment to evaluate the potential future scenarios for their sustainability efforts in a safe game setting. Players go through several business cycles, experiencing critical moments and interdependencies.

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