G4 Online Makes Sustainability Reporting ‘Easier’


by | Nov 8, 2013

GRIThe Global Reporting Initiative has launched G4 Online, a web-based tool to support organizations preparing sustainability reports using the latest generation of GRI’s sustainability reporting guidelines, G4, along with a several other initiatives to help firms prepare reports.

G4 Online is a free-to-use website that presents the complete content of the fourth generation of the guidelines and is designed to support users directly involved in a G4-based reporting process. It’s aimed at users that are already familiar with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures of the G4 Guidelines.

Reporting companies with a basic understanding of the G4 reporting process can use G4 Online to:

  • Access instant definitions of key terms and concepts as they prepare their report.
  • Access information referenced in the G4 text, such as references to other globally recognized sustainability reporting frameworks, via links to third-party websites.
  • Link to G4 content directly from their reports, web sites, blogs, forums or social network platforms.

According to GRI, G4 Online allows users to view G4 content in a more convenient and integrated way. In their original PDF format, the G4 Guidelines are presented in two parts: the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures, and the Implementation Manual. In G4 Online, this content is combined with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures accompanied by explanatory text from the Implementation Manual.

GRI also this week established the G4 Pioneers Program, a new initiative exclusively available to Organizational Stakeholders (OS) — GRI’s core supporters. A total of 84 organizations from 38 countries have signed-up to be part of the program, including large companies such as Nestle, UPS and Telefonica.

The Pioneers Program provides a chance for OS that are producing a G4 report in their next reporting cycle to ask GRI experts any questions they have about G4. The program is intended to be interactive, with informative content and knowledge-sharing webinars as well as Focus groups for open discussions, GRI says.

Along with having access to GRI’s G4 experts, participants will be able to learn from their peers and share their own experiences. In turn, by providing feedback on the Guidelines, participants will assist GRI in monitoring and analyzing how G4 is working in practice.

GRI has also launched the GRI Taxonomy 2013 that has been fully updated for use with G4. The GRI Taxonomy 2013 — which is available for free — enables reporting companies to apply the advantages of digital reporting to the G4 Guidelines, GRI says, and is designed to give organizations better control over the quality of their sustainability performance data.

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