Sustainability Context Group

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= "community of corporate sustainability practitioners, academics, analysts and advisors working to bring Sustainability Context into mainstream consciousness".


Contextual Citation

"Capitals most often represent resource pools that exist in – and hence are borrowed from – The Commons." [1]


1. Bill Baue et al.:

"The SustyContextGroup is a network of thought leaders and practitioners advancing the notion of Sustainability Context, which is a reporting principle assesses "the performance of the organization in the context of the limits and demands placed on environmental or social resources at the sectoral, local, regional, or global level" (to quote the Global Reporting Initiative, GRI, which coined the concept in 2002). Corporate Sustainability Architect Bill Baue and Center for Sustainable Organizations Executive Director (and The MultiCapital Scorecard Co-Author) Mark McElroy co-founded the Group in early 2012 to nurture the growing global community of practice of passionate individuals and organizations who see the vital necessity of integrating this kind of context into corporate sustainability measurement, management and reporting." (


"SustyContextGroup! In early 2012, as GRI prepared to revise its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines from G3.1 to G4, Mark McElroy and I recognized the need to gather together the many voices in the field calling for better guidance, seeing as the Sustainability Context Principle is almost universally ignored in GRI-compliant reports. So, we decided to form the SustyContextGroup, with our first course of action drafting a joint statement on G4 to submit to GRI in the second Public Comment Period." (


Sustainability Context

Bill Baue et al:

"Building on the definition of the Sustainability Context principle first put forward by GRI in 2002, we (the SustyContextGroup) have expanded the idea as follows: Sustainability Context (SC) is a performance accounting principle that calls for the specification of organization-specific standards of performance as a precursor to measurement and reporting. According to the principle, SC must take into account (1) whom an organization’s stakeholders are, (2) the duties and obligations it owes to them to manage its impacts on vital capitals in ways that can affect their well-being, (3) the carrying capacities of the capitals involved, and (4) its fair, just and proportionate shares of the carrying capacities and/or burdens to maintain them. Not only is this a backwards-compatible version of the concept relative to the GRI definition, it is also one that we believe is more fully evolved and executable in practice." (