Alcoa, Enel, GE, Shell, Goldman, Natura Join To Write New Sustainability Guidelines

Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative is working with Alcoa, Enel, GE, Shell, Goldman Sachs and Natura to develop the next generation of sustainability reporting guidelines. Over 500 companies internationally already use the GRI template.

Aluminum manufacturer Alcoa, Italian power company Enel, technology and services company GE, banking firm Goldman Sachs, Brazilian cosmetics manufacturer Natura and energy company Shell have joined with Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to develop “the next generation of sustainability reporting guidelines,” GRI reports.

GRI already produces what it calls “the world’s most comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, which help organizations report their sustainability performance.” Its third generation of guidelines, called G3, were first published in 2006 and then updated to G3.1 Guidelines in March 2011. They include reporting principles and guidance, and standard disclosures.

According to the GRI Reports List, a collection of all GRI-based reports that GRI is aware of, over 500 companies internationally, from Coca-Cola to Adidas to Volvo, use the template for their reporting. A spreadsheet listing all the companies (MS Excel) includes links to their sustainability reports.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. It says it hopes that “the next generation of Guidelines will help more companies to report their sustainability performance.” The new version, dubbed G4, is in development with input from its global sponsors and is due out in 2013.

“More stakeholders than ever – including regulators, investors, rating agencies and NGOs – are asking for non-financial data,” says GRI. The new guidelines “should address requirements for sustainability data, and enable reporters to provide relevant information to various stakeholder groups,” it says.

Support in developing G4 is also coming from tax advisory firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC, says GRI.