Collaboration Among Reporting Frameworks: The Future of Sustainability Reporting



​Reporting companies have many options when it comes to disclosure: the GRI Standards, IIRC, SASB, CDP and the CDSB provide different ways to be transparent. Now we’re all working towards the SDGs, how is that changing the way these organizations relate to one another? Is the fragmentation real or is it just a myth?

​These are some of the questions that GRI’s Chief Executive Tim Mohin will be addressing, together with the leaders of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), CDP,  and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), at the 6th Annual Responsible Business Summit New York 2018*.
The event will bring together 400 professionals from North America’s leading brands to explore their transformation to become responsible businesses, discuss partnerships and pilot projects, how business can contribute to the SDGs, and the role of technology and AI in driving sustainable change.
In the panel Collaboration within reporting frameworks, Tim Mohin will talk about the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, their alignment with other frameworks, and the impact of the SDGs on the future of reporting.
A fragmented reporting landscape?

Before leading GRI, Mohin was a reporting practitioner, so he is familiar with the frustration associated with the fragmentation in the reporting landscape. In his view, GRI is uniquely positioned to foster better alignment between the various frameworks: the 2017 KPMG survey on Corporate Responsibility Reporting revealed that 75% of the G250 and 63% of the N100 who report are using GRI’s framework.

Mohin has made harmonization one of the four focus areas in his strategic plan for GRI. One example of this is a project with SASB to align the two organizations’ approaches to the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The result will be better, more comparable, clear and consistent corporate reporting on climate change.

“The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) and the SASB Sustainability Accounting Standards are designed for different, but complementary, purposes. Stated simply, GRI looks at the company’s impacts on the world and the SASB looks at the world’s impacts on the company. We believe both frameworks can work together to give companies and their stakeholders a comprehensive view of how businesses can create shareholder value, but importantly, also help create the conditions for sustainable development. The GRI framework focuses on a company’s impacts on the broader economy, environment and society to determine its material issues.”

Reporting and the SDGs

The panel will also discuss the impact of the SDGs on how the existing reporting frameworks are viewed. The SDGs provide a coherent, holistic, integrated framework for addressing the world’s most urgent sustainability challenges.

Addressing sustainability issues is complex, but transparency and collaboration are helping. Working with the UNGC, GRI has set up the Reporting on SDGs Action Platform – a resource for companies to measure and report their contributions to the SDGs. Building on the SDG Compass, which was developed in collaboration with WBCSD to help business map their contributions to the SDGs, the Action Platform takes the next step toward helping businesses have a more positive impact through the SDGs. In September 2017, GRI published an analysis with an inventory of possible disclosures per SDG at target level, a first step towards a harmonised set of indicators and methodology for business to report on.

Mohin continued: “Sustainability reporting has made a significant difference to the way companies approach their impacts, but with confusion about frameworks and static data, the ROI still isn’t high enough. We need to make reporting concise, consistent, comparable and current, to tap into the transformative power of transparency. Through the SDGs, we can ensure our harmonized frameworks connect to and help address the world’s most urgent sustainability challenges.”

*You can use the code GRI300 when registering for Responsible Business Summit New York 2018 and get a $300 discount as a member of the GRI network.

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Tweet me: Chief Executive @TimJMohin has made #CSR #reporting #harmonization one of the 4 focus areas in his strategic plan for @GRI_Secretariat. With this, he's pursuing better, more comparable, clear and consistent corporate reporting for a #betterworld.

KEYWORDS: Sustainable Development Goals, Research, Reports & Publications, GRI, global reporting initiative, sustainability reporting, GRI Standards, SDGs

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