G&A Institute Update (Issue 2, September 2011) -- US Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility Reporting

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G&A Institute Update (Issue 2, September 2011) -- US Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility Reporting

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Friday, September 16, 2011 - 12:00pm

G&A Institute monitors the sustainability, responsibility and citizenship reporting of US domestic corporations and the US subsidiaries of non-US companies. (We also monitor sustainability reports published by trade and professional associations, not-for-profit organizations, public sector agencies, professional practices, universities, and various types of institutions.)

These reports carry varying titles: Sustainability Report,Corporate Responsibility,Environmental Responsibility,and Corporate Citizenship.

In August 2011 we identified 11 reports published by US companies and one report published by the University of California. We monitor these reports through our own network resources, through search tools, and invite and receive reports direct from companies.

Since inception, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has been the de facto global standard for corporate and institutional sustainability reporting. The number of US companies publishing reports following the comprehensive GRI Framework (the principles for disclosure and performance reporting) has been steadily increasing.

GRI reporting has increased overall since 2000; the 2010 increase in reporting was 22%, according to GRI. For North America, there was a 53% increase in reporting in Canada and a 22% increase in the United States; the USA tops the list (of the Top 10 countries by number of reports).

Almost 20% of the Fortune 500 companies  1-in-5 large-cap companies  have issued sustainability reports. Almost 100% of the companies included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes publish GRI reports. Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) reporting has steadily increased over the past decade as well.

The GRI Framework clearly sets out the general principles and specific Disclosure and Performance Indicators that organizations can use to measure and report on their economic, environmental and social performance.

Reflecting the continuing embrace of the GRI Framework by American corporations, the following 11 companies published reports in August 2011; the Application Level of the report is indicated where the company has elected to include this information:

  • Novus International (animal health and nutrition programs) 

  • Brown-Forman (NYSE:BFB)(wine and spirits, consumer marketing)

  • Cognizant Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CTSH) (information technology)

  • Dunkin Brands (restaurant franchisor, Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins; brands of DD IP Holder LLC and BR IP Holder LLC; part of Carlyle group holdings) 

Important Note:
The level of the report (A, B, C) indicates the scope and extent of disclosure and selection of GRI Framework Disclosure and performance Indicators and other factors. This is not a grade assigned to the report by GRI. The level is to be viewed as an indication of the scope of the report what narrative and data are included, what are not. The more disclosure and inclusion of key indicators, the higher possible the level. The plus sign (+) indicates that an independent third party Assurance Provider has checked the report. 
  • Briggs & Stratton (NYSE:BGG)(engines, lawn mowers)

  • Cummins (NYSE:CM) (manufactures diesel engines)

  • Life Technologies (NASDAQ:LIFE) (global biotech company)

  • New York Stock Exchange Euronext (NYSE:NYX) (worlds largest stock exchange)

  • NV Energy (NYSE:NVE) (Nevada energy utility company) 

No reference to GRI
  • Buckeye Technology (NYSE:BKI) (manufacturing company)

  • California Natural Products (producers of soy and rice-based ingredients for food manufacturers) 

  • University of California (10-campus state university system) 

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Year-to-Date
We have identified 92 US reports published/issued since January 1, 2011. The reports are collected by the G&A Institute team, analyzed for certain characteristics, and entered into a database that is made publicly-available. For GRI Framework reports: the inclusion of a formal Content Index lets user easily find specific disclosure and performance indicators information (by page number or direct hyperlink).
The G&A Institute team maintains an Excel database of 2011 reports (January through August) on our Sustainability Headquarters  web platform, as reported to GRI, click here for information.
Global Roster
The complete global roster of reporting organizations is available at the Global Reporting Initiative web site, along with reporting statistics, and useful information that reveals trends and patterns in reporting practice: www.globalreporting.org/ReportServices/GRIReportsList/
G&A Institute is the US Data Partner for the GRI organization.The data gathered that we gathered and analyzed in August will be added to the GRI organizations global database for reporting.
We invite managers to submit their company or organization report directly to: reports@ga-institute.com
For more information about the G&A Institute, visit our web site: www.ga-institute.com. 
G&A Institute Update is published by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
215 Park Avenue South, 10th Floor | New York, New York 10003 at Union Square
Tel 646.430.8230 | Web www.ga-institute.com | Email info@ga-institute.com 
Governance & Accountability Instiute is the Sustainability Headquarters for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. The G&A team provides research, monitoring, advisory and strategic information resources to clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. 
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Keywords: Research, Reports & Publications | CSR | Corporate Social Responsibility | ESG | GRI | Reporting | SRI | Sustainability | global reporting initiative | socially responsible investing