The two organisations will work together in the development of Sector Supplements and feedback on each other’s guidelines/questionnaires. The idea is to look for ways in which they can align their questions to improve the process and get better quality reporting. The collaboration will also help the GRI in drafting sector reporting indicators.
The organisations have already published a paper ‘Linking up: GRI and CDP’. It includes a table that shows the overlap between GRI G3 Profile Disclosures and Performance Indicators and related CDP questions for 2010. Highlighting the overlap will help organisations conform to both reporting processes.
This is a good move. In total, 2,500 organisations around the world disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies through CDP and over 1,300 organisations published a GRI based report in 2009. (The GRI standards include a wider range of sustainability topics). So anything that helps the process is useful.
There is a lack of standards around emissions calculating and reporting, although some de facto standards have emerged, such as the GHG Protocol for calculating emissions and CDP and GRI for reporting. Unfortunately, governments introducing their own legislation sometimes insist on their own variations, which muddies the waters.
But for companies looking to report for the first time there are a range of potential standards to consider. Usually carbon emissions management solutions will handle most requirements, but the sooner we get universal agreement on standards the better it will be for software buyers and sellers). Lets hope the GRI and CDP can merge their requirements sooner rather than later.