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Feedback Sought on New Corporate Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

Joe Mont | June 26, 2012

What is hoped to be the future of corporate reporting is now available for public review and comment.

On Tuesday, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published the latest draft of its next generation of reporting guidelines (G4).

GRI is a non-profit organization that promotes economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Its sustainability reporting framework is used around the world to measure and report economic, environmental, social, and governance performance.

The guidelines offer standard disclosures and guidance for the preparation of sustainability reports by organizations, regardless of their size, sector, or location. A sustainability report based on the GRI Reporting Guidelines is intended to provide a clear representation of the economic, environmental, and social performance and impacts of an organization, including both its positive and negative contributions.

A second public comment period is now underway for organizations and individuals to share their views and help shape the structure and content of G4. Proposed updates focus on anti-corruption, biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, and occupational health and safety.  Reporting principles include stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, materiality, and completeness.

“We are at a point now where companies and other organizations have to be transparent about their economic, environmental, and social performance: customers, suppliers, investors , governments, and other stakeholders expect it,” Nelmara Arbex, deputy chief executive for GRI, said in a statement.

G4 is proposing a number of changes to governance and remuneration disclosures to strengthen the link between governance and sustainability performance. The proposals include new disclosures on the ratio of executive compensation to median compensation, the ratio of executive compensation to lowest compensation and the ratio of executive compensation increase to median compensation.

New and amended disclosures on the supply chain are also included, including procurement practice, screening and assessment, and remediation.

The new material crafted by working groups is available online for public comment. Individuals and organizations can provide feedback by answering questions about the material and providing editorial suggestions and comments.

Participants are encouraged to use the GRI Consultation Platform, a secure Website established for the process. As a secondary method, hard-copy and e-mail submissions are also accepted. All feedback must be received by Sept. 24.

E-mail submissions can be sent to: G4@globalreporting.org.

Postal submissions can be sent to: G4 Second Public Comment Period, GRI Secretariat, Postbus 10039, 1001 EA Amsterdam, The Netherlands.