What GRI Learned in Its First Year in America

Want the facts and a factoid?

We don’t officially stop counting 2011 reporters until March, but based on current information we are estimating roughly a 35 percent increase in GRI reporters in the U.S. from 2010 to 2011. Our latest analysis of North American GRI Reporters identifies 241 individual reporters. If you are interest in the overall global and regional analysis of reporting trends for last year, you can see GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Statistics 2010.

Thanks to excellent research on the sustainability reports being released by U.S. organizations, our new U.S. Data Partner Governance & Accountability Institute is helping identify previously unknown GRI reporters. An interesting and generally unknown factoid is that there are numerous GRI reporters that aren’t aware that they need to register their GRI report if they want to make it into our database of reporters. Not only that, but here in the U.S. we are realizing that many reporters aren’t fully aware of how the GRI Application Levels can and should be applied, nor are they aware of the Report Services GRI offers to help reporters finalize and post their reports. If you have published a sustainability report and you’re not in the Governance & Accountability Institute’s database, use the information on their site to get registered!

Where are the biggest developments? Everywhere!

After almost 15-years’ worth of international effort, GRI and all its stakeholders can proudly state the following:

GRI is being written into national regulation, implemented by state-owned companies, integrated into stock exchange listing rules and being increasingly woven into the procurement policies of large, influential institutions.

Much of this is summarized in the publication Carrots & Sticks, with some of the latest global developments available on GRI’s Report or Explain Campaign Forum.

What are the biggest developments in the U.S.?

Supply chain management is going to be the biggest game-changing factor for sustainability. Not only managing the supply chain, but making the information publicly available is already changing the way sustainability performance is being embraced, standardized and disclosed.

In the U.S. we saw two very interesting GRI developments from two well-known commercial institutions. First, last October we saw Microsoft announce a new supply chain initiative that encourages suppliers to report on sustainability using the GRI Guidelines. Just this January we saw Apple announce its own supply chain approach, which also suggests suppliers report using GRI.

This is not a new approach, globally, but it is new here in the U.S. Globally, GRI is working with a range of well-known companies to not only seek disclosure from their suppliers, but GRI is working directly with companies and their suppliers to train the suppliers on reporting. Through GRI’s Global Action Network – GANTSCh multinational corporations are collaborating in this unique program that promotes sustainability, as well as transparency in their supply chain. This program was also embraced by the Catalan Chamber of Commerce who is partnering with 11 large local companies to train 60 local suppliers, who are all small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Next Page: GRI's Supply Chain Work in the U.S.