The Global Reporting Initiative is opening an office in New York tomorrow, October 13, 2010, to be headed by former GRI Director, Sustainability Reporting Framework Mike Wallace.  The office’s official name is Focal Point USA, and was not only established to provide support to companies that produce sustainability reports, but also aims to increase the number of companies that produce reports.

Further, this new office will work to improve the consistency and quality of reporting, as well as increase organizations’ input into developing new guidelines for reporting.  The ‘big four’ accounting firms: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers have agreed to provide donations to sponsor the new office for its first two years.

In addition, The Conference Board has agreed to host the new office pro bono during these two years.  The Conference Board has a Center for Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability, and sees its relationship with the GRI as an asset to the Center’s core values.

The GRI hopes to make sustainability reporting mainstream by 2015.  They’ve been engaging more closely with companies, financial institutions, leading business associations, investors and government agencies in the U.S. over the past year on ways to better integrate ESG data into financial reporting.  Over the next 10 years, the GRI will be working with several other organizations to develop an integrated reporting framework.

Wallace will have staff on the ground in the U.S. to provide better support to organizations who produce reports by helping to identify best practices that are tailored to U.S. organizations’ needs while still complying with the GRI guidelines. 

To celebrate this extension of the GRI in the U.S., and to provide organizational stakeholders (OS) with the opportunity to meet Wallace, events will be planned for early 2011.  Nikki McKean-Wood, OS Program Manager, will join Wallace in the new office. 

BrownFlynn is proud to be the first U.S.-certified training partner of the GRI, and is looking forward to working with Wallace and McKean-Wood.  This is an exciting time for the GRI and sustainability reporting in the U.S.

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