Global Reporting Initiative - Sustainability Context Group Meeting

GRI Focal Point USA Offices, Manhattan, September 20, 2013

GRI CEO Ernst Litgeringen, GRI Board Deputy Chair Simon Longstaff

Sustainability Context Group Co-Founders Bill Baue & Mark McElroy

 

  • The Sustainability Context Principle, as it currently stands, is more than adequate and need not be amended.
  • There is prima facie evidence to suggest that most reports, to date, do not adequately address the Sustainability Context Principle.
  • The working hypothesis to be tested is that this situation is due to a lack of adequate guidance, by GRI, on how to implement the Sustainability Context Principle.
  • It is also possible that there is divergent understanding of what is required adequately to apply the Sustainability Context Principle in GRI reports.
  • Given all of the above, our first active step will be to ensure that we share a common understanding of what is required adequately to apply the Sustainability Context Principle in GRI reports. To this end, GRI will:
    • Select a small set (2-4) of reports that the Secretariat believes demonstrate an adequate application of the Sustainability Context Principle (and surmise why -- are they turning to the guidance, or not?)
    • GRI sends this selection of reports and analysis to Mark and Bill to see if we share a common understanding of whether or not the selected reports do, in fact, demonstrate an adequate application of the Sustainability Context Principle. Having undertaken their own analysis, Mark and Bill will document their findings and send them to GRI.
    • Option: wait for first batch of G4 reports, unless this takes too long (e.g. 1 month from the date of our NYC meeting, namely Oct 20), in which case, use existing reports instead.
  • If our understanding is found to be divergent, then we will initiate a process to explore the source of this divergence - and how it might be resolved.
  • If we have a common understanding, we will examine a broader set of reports in order to develop a research paper that looks for trends (e.g. different interpretations of Sustainability Context) in the application of the Sustainability Context Principle.
  • If this research provides sufficient substantiation of the hypothesis that reports fall short on integrating the Sustainability Context Principle due to lack of adequate guidance, then it considers the research question of what sufficient guidance would look like.