It is data collection season in the world of sustainability. The reports and questionnaires are due in a few months, and corporate social responsibility professionals are tapping internal data owners for information updates.

This year, however, the arduous company-wide data collection process that occurs is becoming more dynamic for companies making the move to the G4 Guidelines. Specifically, the new requirements for the Disclosure on Management Approach (DMA) in GRI G4 are shifting the course of conversation.

For many companies, the internal process of gathering information for a report section typically was completed by asking data owners for two key elements, the policies and programs in place and the data to demonstrate performance. For example, a disclosure on local spending would identify the definition of “local” used in the corporate policy, and then describe activities and programs implemented over the year to increase the amount of money spent on local suppliers.

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