Investors Call for Mandatory Sustainability Reporting
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Investors Call for Mandatory Sustainability Reporting
This past January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released guidelines to support publicly traded corporations in disclosing their climate change risks to shareholders. According to SEC Commissioner Eisse Walter, the decision was “designed to improve the quality of disclosures filed by U.S. public companies for the benefit of investors.”
The GRI is the world’s most widely-used sustainability reporting framework and is “a comprehensive, uniform set of sustainability indicators comprised of both universally applicable and industry-specific components,” according to the SIF.
In March of 2009, the GRI called on governments to introduce, “policy requiring companies to report on ESG factors or publicly explain why they have not done so,” as was adopted in Europe in 2003. The European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif) believes that the “comply or explain” approach has not produced consistent results that could help investors, and that “European institutions should make reporting on ESG data no longer an option subject to interpretation but a requirement.”
Eurosif, along with its partner organizations in the European Combined Reporting Alliance for ESG, maintain that mandatory ESG reporting will enable investors and others to more accurately assess the value of a company and its contributions to the achievement of a more sustainable economy and society.
Aside from the benefits to investors, sustainability reporting – especially through the use of the GRI framework – helps companies engage stakeholders, set goals and measure progress towards meeting social, environmental and financial targets. All of which boost a company’s financial prosperity.
Want to learn more about how to use the GRI sustainability reporting framework? See our training opportunities at www.brownflynnlearning.com.
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Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability
Name of the organization
Primary brands, products, and services
Location of organization’s headquarters
Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report
Nature of ownership and legal form
Scale of the reporting organization
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region, broken down by gender
Percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Description of the organization’s supply chain
Significant changes during the reporting period regarding organization's size, structure, ownership, or supply chain
Whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization
Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses
Memberships in associations and/or national/international advocacy organizations
Entities included in the organization consolidated financial and nonfinancial reports
Process for defining report content
Material aspects identified in the process for defining report content
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary within the organization
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary outside the organization
Explanation of the effect of and reasons for any restatements of information provided in earlier reports
Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and aspect boundaries
List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage
The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process
Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns
Date of most recent previous report
Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents
‘In accordance’ option and GRI Content Index
Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report
Governance structure of organization, including committees of the highest governance body
The organization’s values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics
Disclosure on Management Approach for Aspect
Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Financial assistance received from government.
Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts.
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
Average hours of training per year per employee, by gender and by employee category.
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category.