Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

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* Report: 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Global Reporting Initiative, 2002



"The Board of Directors of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is pleased to release the 2002 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. This event marks a major milestone in the evolution of GRI both as an institution and as a reporting framework. From an institutional perspective, it marks the beginning of the first cycle of release, testing, review, and revision under GRI’s new governance structure. From a reporting perspective, the 2002 Guidelinesrepresent the culmination of two years of revisions work involving hundreds of individuals, as well as a significant advancement in rigour and quality relative to the June 2000 Guidelines. The GRI Board recognises that this remains “work in progress”.

GRI is a living process that operates in the spirit of “learning by doing”. We are convinced that the lessons gained from using the Guidelines are the best compass for guiding ongoing improvement.

The GRI was launched in 1997 as a joint initiative of the U.S. non-governmental organisation Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and United Nations Environment Programme with the goal of enhancing the quality, rigour, and utility of sustainability reporting. The initiative has enjoyed the active support and engagement of representatives from business, non-profit advocacy groups, accounting bodies, investor organisations, trade unions, and many more. Together, these different constituencies have worked to build a consensus around a set of reporting guidelines with the aim of achieving worldwide acceptance.

The first set of GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines appeared as an Exposure Draft in 1999. Following testing and public comment, the GRI released the June 2000 Guidelines. A revision process began immediately and continued over the next two years, culminating in the work of the past six months. The process has benefited from extensive public comment from stakeholders worldwide. Every comment was carefully considered and a deliberate choice was made on which to incorporate. We recognise that not all suggestions were integrated into the new Guidelines but we strongly encourage continued engagement from all parties during the next cycle of revisions. GRI recognises that developing a globally accepted reporting framework is a long-term endeavour. In comparison, financial reporting is well over half a century old and still evolving amidst increasing public attention and scrutiny. The 2002 Guidelines represent the GRI Board’s view of a consensus on a reporting framework at this point in time that is a blend of a diverse range of perspectives.

There are numerous ways to use the 2002 Guidelines. An organisation may choose to simply use them for informal reference or to apply the Guidelines in an incremental fashion. Alternatively, an organisation may decide to report based on the more demanding level of “in accordance”. This level of reporting relies on transparency to balance the need for flexibility in reporting with the goal of enhancing comparability across reporters. GRI welcomes all reporting organisations—whether beginners or advanced— as users of the Guidelines."