"Sustainability reporting must be a strategic and purposeful exercise, not an exercise of box ticking" says GRI CEO

At the Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting, currently taking place in Amsterdam, GRI Chief Executive Ernst Ligteringen kicked off the Conference with an inspiring call for more businesses to integrate sustainability into their business models and practices.  "For sustainability reporting to help develop sustainable businesses and markets, it needs to offer information that is relevant, reliable and transparent, and readily available," said Ligteringen. "A lot of progress in this respect has been made but there's still a lot of work to be done. Reporting will only become standard practice beyond the world’s very largest companies when it has the backing of everyone."    More of Ligteringen’s opening speech from yesterday can be read here.

In addition, the latest version of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines – G4 – was launched at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, when GRI Chairman Herman Mulder rang the historic gong to signal the new guidelines' arrival. 

LRQA is well represented at the conference with Hidemi Tomita (Demi) who is LRQA Japan’s Business Planning & Marketing Manager whose session at the event is entitled Sustainability in the Era of Resilient Growth in Japan.  Debbie Evans – LRQA Sustainability Manager – is also in attendance; we asked Debbie for her views on the publication of the new G4 reporting standard who said, “The G4 promises to give us clear and concise sustainability reports which focus on what an organisation's material aspects are. This should give us meaningful accounts on how these organisations are setting their strategies to tackle not only their performance, but the challenges facing society and our planet” Evans was part of the working groups involved in developing the G4.

The latest evolution of the GRI Guidelines – part of the most widely used comprehensive sustainability reporting framework in the world - enable all companies and organizations to report on their economic, environmental, social and governance performance. G4 has been significantly revised and enhanced in order to reflect important current and future trends in the sustainability reporting landscape.

By placing an even greater emphasis on the concept of materiality, G4 will encourage reporting organizations to provide only disclosures and indicators that are material to their business, on the basis of a dialogue with their stakeholders. This will allow reporting organizations and report users alike to concentrate on the economic, environmental, and social impacts that really matter, resulting in reports that are more strategic, more focused and more credible, as well as easier for stakeholders to navigate.

For more information about LRQA’s CSR services, click here.

2013-05 GRI Conference