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  • andrea 4:29 am on April 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , G4, GRI, materiality, , ,   

    Electrolux: sustainability gets strategic 

    Already a veteran reporter and multi-year DJSI world sector leader, Electrolux aims to raise the bar again with its 2014 corporate sustainability report. Front and centre this year is a renewed focus on material issues – the company’s biggest impacts, what matters most to stakeholders, and where it can make the biggest difference. The result? 10 key areas where the global appliance manufacturer intends to drive competitive advantage and considers high performance a condition of doing business, cementing sustainability squarely at the heart of the business strategy.

    You can check out the 2014 report here. And as part of the team behind it, we’d love your feedback!

    Electrolux says sustainability is like a decathlon - you have to excel at many things to be top of your game.

    Electrolux says sustainability is like a decathlon – you have to excel at many things to be top of your game.

  • Astrid von Schmeling 9:40 am on March 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 4.0, Advanced Level, , GRI, ,   

    This COP needs more cred 

    Almost a year ago to this day, I wrote a blog here called, Has the UNGC jumped the gun?, about the newly launched guidelines for UNGC’s Advanced Level Communication on Progress (COP). Guess what? They had.

    To be truthful, part of my frustration was over the UNGC’s off-kilter mid-February timing. In the last phases of a pressing reporting season, I wasn’t in the mood for having the rules changed.

    Like I stated last year, the UNGC Advanced Level COP was half thought-through. It should have been better aligned with GRI’s 3.1 guidelines and taken tools like the Ruggie ‘Protect, respect and remedy’ framework into stronger account. But they didn’t. As a result, the UNGC has been playing a game of catch up. They issued two versions of the Advanced Level COP – and at least two additional corrections – over the span of one reporting cycle!

    The UNGC’s second iteration, effective in January, 2012, involves an overhaul of their 24 criteria to closer align with core UN and Global Compact resources, including Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Anti-Corruption Reporting Guidance as well as with GRI indicators. Like GRI’s 3.1, it now has Ruggie written all over it.

    There are strong arguments to support the fact that the UNGC should have extended their launch into 2013. Companies are waiting for GRI to issue version 4.0 of their guidelines. There is little reason give the Advanced Level COP much heed when they don’t know how the GRI will change in only a year’s time. Especially when you look at the UNGC’s fickle track record of the last year.

    Are continually revised reporting guidelines tearing your hair out? With the UNGC Advanced Level COP guidelines in its second iteration, with just as many corrections in ten months, the UNGC is not demonstrating the excellence that they expect of their reporters.

    If this COP is to gain any cred, it has to get its act together. The UNGC has to better understand the huge undertaking reporting is for multinationals. For the serious companies, it consumes a major part of the sustainability budget, and takes many months of production and preparation and is a complicated apparatus for data analysis and collecting best practice. If the UNGC is reaching for excellence among its signatories, it will have to demonstrate the same level of ambition themselves.

    Maybe UNGC will be able to answer a few of these questions at their webinar scheduled for Friday, March 23. I’ll be listening in – I hope you will too!

  • Astrid von Schmeling 4:41 am on March 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Global Reporting Initiative, GRI, ,   

    Has the UN Global Compact jumped the gun? 

    A new sustainability reporting framework popped into my mailbox last week, and it left me gagging on my morning coffee.  Dated February 25th, the UN Global Compact’s ‘differentiation framework‘ defines expectations on how UNGC members are to report their annual Communication on Progress. The COP outlines members’ support of the UNGC 10 principles on human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

    With the long-standing criticism that the Global Compact’s endorsement isn’t worth the paper it is written on, I’m the first to admit that it’s high time that the UNGC got serious about structuring expectations on corporate signatories. The number of non-COP reporters has been a huge blemish on the UNGC’s reputation. Over 2,000 signatories have so far been expelled for insufficient reporting, according to a recent UNGC tally. This is indeed a large number considering there are currently some 4,700 active business signatories listed on their website.

    But the UNGC’s timing is lousy!  I’m sure we’re not alone in burning the midnight oil writing sustainability reports. Deadlines are looming ominously for a lot of listed companies. At this late hour in the reporting cycle, the last thing we need  is more advice on how to structure our reporting.

    The Global Compact’s COP policy added another layer to an already complicated set of 79 GRI performance indicators and disclosure requirements that reporters are juggling. And there is more where that came from. Significant changes in the GRI frameworks can be expected with G4 in the coming years, and even a revision in the coming month, with the G3.1.

    About 4,700 companies support the UN Global Compact. Time will tell how many of these will choose the route of being an Advanced Level reporter on how they meet this endorsement.

    It’s not that the Framework is entirely misguided.  I appreciate the greater focus on supply chain, which is thin with the GRI.  I like their emphasis on outcomes and not only processes. But in many ways, the criteria for their GC Advanced level can create more questions than they try to answer. The introductory text states “Over time, participants at the GC Advanced level are encouraged to implement all best practices that are relevant to their context of operation.” A tall order indeed and this open formulation sounds like a perfect excuse for a procrastinator. And finally, encouraging reporters to report on a Level A+ just adds fuel to the fire as far as to whether ‘A+’ reporters are better than ‘B+’ reporters. I strongly resist this grading of the GRI system based on reporting scope rather than the quality of what’s reported.

    If UNGC was seeking the legitimacy it so desperately needs, the Differentiation Framework should have followed at the heels of GRI’s announcement of G3.1 instead of preceding it. It would have eliminated a lot of confusion among some very exhausted reporters.

  • andrea 10:30 pm on September 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , GRI, IIRC, , , , UNPRI   

    Global Compact Network Australia: a welcome powerhouse for responsible business downunder 

    Last week, the UN Global Compact Network Australia held its first ‘Welcome Event’ in Sydney. Launched in May 2009, and hosted by the St James Ethics Centre, the Australian Network aims to become Australia’s strongest corporate citizenship initiative – its first year has already seen an increase in signatories of 50%.

    Hosted by KPMG, the event marked an opportunity for signatory companies and stakeholders to hear about the 10th Anniversary and Leaders Summit in New York, and discuss major trends likely to shape the future direction of corporate responsibility.

    Among those highlighted were:

    • The launch of the UNGC Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, which calls for the fuller integration of the 10 principles into corporate strategy, support of wider UN goals and issues, and more local engagement by signatories.
    • The memorandum of understanding signed between the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), aiming to provide an integrated roadmap to sustainable business practice and accountability.
    • Momentum for both mandatory and integrated reporting, mirrored in the establishment of the International Integrated Reporting Committee, whose remit is to “create a globally accepted framework for accounting for sustainability” by 2020.
    • Growing demand for, and integration of, ESG (environmental, social, governance) information by the investment community, led by signatories of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) which has seen over US$20 trillion of assets signed to the principles in just four years.

    Together, these developments show a convergence and mainstreaming of sustainability – a tipping point where corporate responsibility moves from ‘nice’ to have, to ‘need’ to have. But there remains plenty of room for leadership, experimentation and differentiation.

    The Australian UNGC Network offers signatories both a platform and learning forum for such leadership. As well as being a clearinghouse for new corporate responsibility resources,
    it aims to stimulate thinking and stretch boundaries in corporate responsibility.

    Another great opportunity for this will be Thursday 14th October, when, together with the GRI Focal Point Australia, the Network will host an exclusive event, “In conversation with John Elkington.” On the agenda – directions in accountability, the role of the C-suite and the alchemy of corporate transformation. One Stone has been instrumental in organizing the event, and will also play a key role moderating. For more information, contact Rosemary Sainty, Head, Secretariat Global Compact Network Australia: rsain@ethics.org.au

    • Manda 8:19 am on February 13, 2012 Permalink

      Great post Marcy. For the rocerd, when Tony “dismissed” the ranking, he knew nothing about methodology and underlying data. That would be like “dismissing” a candidate for office when knowing of their policies, character, or vision. You might want to think about motive of sources when citing them.

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