Leading Companies Invest in 'Third Generation' Sustainability Reporting Project

Leading Companies Invest in 'Third Generation' Sustainability Reporting Project

Leading Fortune 1000 global companies in major industry sectors have announced their investment in the Global Reporting Initiative's project to deliver the Third Generation (G3) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, a key component of the GRI's Third Generation Project.

Alcan, BP, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Microsoft, Royal Bank of Canada, and Shell, have provided investment for the G3 Project, and will continue to provide strategic guidance as members of the G3 Consortium, a group of companies and organizations that have come together to help lead the G3 Project.

"The support of these companies is integral to the success of the G3 Project," said GRI chief executive Ernst Ligteringen. "Through their participation, they are demonstrating their belief that sustainability reporting has matured as a practice and now provides tangible value for companies and their stakeholders."

Alcan's senior vice president for corporate and external affairs, Daniel Gagnier, noted that his company decided to invest in the G3 Project and to participate in its progress "to help ensure the success of the project, which we believe will generate more value for Alcan and move sustainability reporting into the mainstream."

"The endorsement and participation of companies from the technology, manufacturing, finance, automotive, oil and gas, and mining sectors demonstrates the truly global nature of GRI's Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and represents an endorsement of GRI’s multi-stakeholder process, which itself ensures credibility and acceptance among the thousands of companies that make use of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines," said Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of Anglo-American and GRI board member. Moody-Stuart and Gagnier are co-convenors of the G3 Consortium.

The G3 Consortium will play a strategic role in the G3 Project, and helps to recruit new members to provide funding to complete the G3 Project. "The G3 Project represents GRI’s most ambitious undertaking so far, but it is expensive," said Ligteringen, commenting on the €9 million project goal. "While we have raised a substantial amount of the funding needed, we need further funding from companies, foundations, governments, and other organizations to deliver the full project."

David Moorcroft, senior vice president of corporate communications at Royal Bank of Canada, and host of a recent G3 Consortium meeting in Toronto, said that "investing in the G3 Project provides us with an ongoing forum for strategic discussion, both in terms of insights into the G3 project and on external engagement. One key outcome of the recent meeting was an agreement on the importance of expanding the consortium to include NGOs, government, foundations, and other investors."

The current GRI Guidelines, which appeared in 2002, are referenced by over 680 companies and organizations worldwide, and used by thousands of others to prepare sustainability reports. The G3 Project currently underway is based on GRI’s multi-stakeholder process and includes work on improving indicators, providing guidance on reporting as a process, and making the Guidelines more useful for the financial community.

"A key outcome of the G3 Project will be greater user-friendliness and the availability of new products and services for organizations using the GRI Guidelines," said GRI board chair Judy Henderson. "The creation of services such as education and training for report preparers and users is will help broaden the user base and help move sustainability reporting to forefront of global best practices. We are extremely grateful and excited to have these leading companies’ participation, and we welcome new companies and other organizations who want to step forward to ensure completion of the G3 Project."

Gagnier noted that he is working with other G3 Consortium members to complete the investment funding for the G3 Project and to bring other leading companies to the table. "This is perhaps the most exciting place to be right now in terms of the global sustainability reporting movement."