COMMIT!Forum Workshop Provides Insight into GRI's Upcoming G4 Guidelines

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COMMIT!Forum Workshop Provides Insight into GRI's Upcoming G4 Guidelines

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"Spotlight on Governance: Inside the GRI Framework," provides insight into the GRI upcoming G4 Reporting Guidelines.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 4:45pm



NEW YORK - The COMMIT!Forum, hosted by CR Magazine, kicked off today at Cipriani Wall Street in the heart of the world's financial sector. The Forum brings together participants from leading corporations, NGOs, analysis firms, and media outlets to discuss the most pressing issues in the world of corporate social responsibility.

This morning featured a workshop from BrownFlynn, the Ohio-based CSR and sustainability consulting firm. The workshop, entitled "Spotlight on Governance: Inside the GRI Framework," provided insight into the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) upcoming G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

The G4 guidelines, which will be released in 2013, are intended to provide a major update the G3 guidelines, which were released in 2006 (GRI released G3.1 in 2011 as a precursor to G4).

GRI has seen wide adoption at both European and North American corporations. In 2011, 80 percent of the Global 250 used GRI for non-financial reporting, up from 77 percent in 2008. GRI hopes that G4 will be more user-friendly than G3 to encourage further adoption. But the G4 guidelines will almost certainly be more difficult to implement than G3, which may dissuade some companies from adopting G4.

In an effort to make GRI reports more relevant to institutional investors, G4 will require that executive management play a larger role in the reporting process. Investors making long-term purchases of stocks want to understand the degree to which top-level management has assessed how sustainability issues can mitigate risk and provide opportunities for future growth. A company's sustainability governance processes are therefore increasingly important to institutional investors, and G4 seeks to reflect that.

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Harry Stevens is a Media Consultant for 3BL Media / Justmeans. After earning his Bachelors of Arts in international relations from the University of Puget Sound, Harry moved to Guatemala to do business development for Mercado Global, a fair trade fashion organization. Harry has written on social enterprise, sustainable finance, and fair trade for a number of popular blogs, including Justmeans and The Fair Trade Times. A serial road-tripper, Harry has been to forty-seven of the forty-eight contiguous states, and is actively seeking an excuse to visit Oklahoma. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens