The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the NGO that came up with the widely-used sustainability reporting framework as part of its aim to make sustainability reporting common practice and transparent, has launched the latest version of its guidelines.
G3.1, described as ‘the most comprehensive and complete sustainability reporting guidance’ is now available. It features up-to-date guidance on human rights, gender and community. GRI is also launching ‘The Technical Protocol – Applying the Report Content Principles’, guidance to help companies determine what to measure and report. The organisation is planning updates to its support materials in line with the updated Guidelines.
Organisations that are already reporting on their sustainability performance can use either the current G3 Guidelines or the updated version, although GRI recommends that they use G3.1. Both versions remain valid until the next generation of Guidelines is in place, due in 2013.
Corporations that want to be seen as leaders in sustainable reporting will be quick to adopt the new guidelines. There may be knock-on implications for some suppliers of corporate climate change and sustainability reporting solutions, such as IHS and PE International, who may need to adapt.
Data gathering and reporting around sustainability is effectively a compliance issue, albeit not directly driven by legislation (yet). But because it’s not driven by legislation there are various bodies setting standards and differing views on what needs to be reported (nationally and internationally). It’s a challenge for solutions providers and means they need to continually invest time and money into solutions until common standards emerge. At least GRI is rapidly becoming the de-facto standard.