There are various guidelines and recommendations which refer to sustainability disclosure, but the GRI framework is the most widely used and arguably the most comprehensive.
Here are some sustainability disclosure mechanisms which you might encounter:
- Global Reporting Initiative
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organisation that pioneered the world's most widely used sustainability reporting framework. GRI is committed to the Framework's continuous improvement and application worldwide. It is currently in the process of developing G4, its fourth generation of Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. An exposure draft of G4 was released for public consultation from 25 June to 25 September 2012 and can be still be accessed from the GRI webpage. GRI's core goals include the mainstreaming of disclosure on environmental, social and governance performance.
GRI works with Data Partners to capture new and relevant information about GRI reporting, and developments in organisational disclosure. The official Data Partner for GRI is CSR Asia, which will track sustainability reporting trends in Singapore.
For more information, please visit the GRI website .
- ISO 26000
The International Standard ISO 26000:2010, Guidance on Social Responsibility, provides harmonized, globally relevant guidance for private and public sector organisations of all types based on international consensus among expert representatives of the main stakeholder groups, and so encourage the implementation of best practice in social responsibility worldwide.
ISO 26000 is not specifically a sustainability disclosure framework, however as a guidance document it provides excellent information for organisations wishing to understand and address sustainability issues. It is closely aligned to the GRI framework and it strongly encourages sustainability disclosure by organisations.
It is closely aligned to the GRI framework and it strongly encourages sustainability disclosure by organisation. The publication 'GRI and ISO 26000: How to use the GRI Guidelines in conjunction with ISO 26000 ' has more information on incorporating ISO 26000 into a GRI G3 or G3.1 based report.
- UN Global Compact (Communication on Progress)
The UN Global Compact is an initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Participants of the UN Global Compact are required to issue an annual Communication on Progress ("COP"). There is a COP template, or a GRI report more than adequately covers the requirements of the COP.
The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI) is a network of international investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. The Principles were devised by the investment community. They reflect the view that environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios and therefore must be given appropriate consideration by investors if they are to fulfil their fiduciary (or equivalent) duty. The Principles provide a voluntary framework by which all investors can incorporate ESG issues into their decision-making and ownership practices and so better align their objectives with those of society at large.
- Carbon Footprint Reporting
The implications of climate change and carbon emissions on businesses are fast rising to the top of corporate agendas. Due to potential impact of environmental costs, global trends and stakeholder demands, businesses cannot afford not to be engaged. What's more, the issues associated with energy pricing and security, natural resource pressures, population growth, lifestyle changes, and consumer preferences are compelling companies to act now.
- Water Footprint Reporting
Water supply is one of the biggest challenges facing humans today and as such an organisation's water consumption is coming under greater and greater scrutiny. There are various ways in which an organisation can account for its water footprint.