The Global Reporting Initiative
Table of Contents
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international Non Governmental Organization and collaborating centre of the United Nations Environment Programme that has developed the world’s most widely used framework for sustainability reporting. This sustainability reporting framework sets out the principles and indicators that organisations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance. The third generation of this framework, launched in 2006, is called the GRI G3 Guidelines and is available online as a free public good.
In order to ensure the highest degree of technical quality, credibility, and relevance, the reporting framework is developed and continuously improved through an international multi-stakeholder consensus-seeking process with participants drawn globally from business, civil society, labor, and professional institutions.
Sustainability reports based on the GRI framework can be used to benchmark organizational performance with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards and voluntary initiatives; demonstrate organizational commitment to sustainable development; and compare organizational performance over time. GRI promotes and develops this standardized approach to reporting to stimulate demand for sustainability information – which will benefit reporting organisations and those who use report information alike.
GRI’s Mission and Vision
GRI’s vision is that disclosure on economic, environmental, and social performance becomes as commonplace and comparable as financial reporting, and as important to organizational success. Its mission is to create conditions for the transparent and reliable exchange of sustainability reporting information through the development and continuous improvement of the GRI sustainability reporting framework.
GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Framework
The G3 Guidelines are the cornerstone of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework and the foundation upon which all other reporting guidance is based. The G3 Guidelines outline core content for reporting that is relevant to all organisations regardless of size, sector, or location. The G3 Guidelines contain principles and guidance as well as standard disclosures, including indicators, to outline a disclosure framework that organizations can voluntarily, flexibly, and incrementally, adopt. The Sustainability Reporting Framework is continuously improved as experience evolves and better practices emerge.
Some sectors face unique needs that require specialised guidance in addition to the universally applicable core Guidelines. Sector Supplements respond to these needs and constitute a key part of the Reporting Framework. They are designed to complement the G3 Guidelines and should be used in addition to, not in place of, the Guidelines. For a full list of Sector Supplements GRI is currently working on, visit: GRI Sector Supplements
Gender Related Indicators in the G3 Guidelines
There are currently three indicators that refer to gender in the GRI G3 Guidelines. These are performance indicators from the Labor Practices and Decent Work category of the G3 Guidelines:
LA 2: Total number and rate of employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
LA13: Composition of governance bodies and breakdown of employees per category according to gender, age group, minority membership group and other indicators of diversity.
LA14: Ratio of basic salary of men to women by employee category.
In partnership with IFC a member of the World Bank Group, GRI is implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility to improve the coverage of gender issues in organisations’ sustainability reports. The research and multi-stakeholder consultation project will result in a Gender Resource Document that will help organizations seeking to better incorporate gender issues into their management practices and reporting.
Call for Comment on the Gender Revision of the G3 Guidelines
After three months of discussions on how to best measure and report an organisation’s Gender impact, the GRI Gender Working Group has agreed on a set of recommendations for the revision of the G3 Guidelines, the most widely used sustainability reporting framework. Since Gender is just one of the thematic revisions of the G3 Guidelines, it has been released for public comment an online survey combing it with the Community and Human Rights recommendations. All recommendations have been developed by three different international multi-stakeholder Working Groups with representatives from a range of organizations and a diverse number of geographies.