Sustainability 101

New Sustainability Standards Coming

GRI G4This fall, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is rolling out the G4, a new set of sustainability reporting guidelines. This is the first major revision of the guidelines since 2006, and it aims to deliver more meaningful reports by focusing on documenting what really matters to the organization.

“The new framework moves away from broad, general disclosure,” says Anna Dengler, Great Forest’s director of sustainability. “For example, it removes the A, B and C grade levels, which direct the public to how much information the company is disclosing. To many, this had the appearance of rewarding higher letter scoring companies even though having an A does not necessarily mean that that company is more sustainable than one with a C level.  It just means their report covers more ground.”

“Under the new framework, general disclosures go under ‘core’ and in-depth reports are tracked under ‘comprehensive,’ giving companies the flexibility to go as wide and deep as they want without being labeled,” says Anna.  “These and other changes add a layer of clarity to the new framework. We encourage everyone to use the GRI. There really is nothing else out there that matches what the GRI does in reporting.”

If you have been using the G3 and G3.1 guidelines, you can continue to do so for up to two reporting cycles.  Reports submitted after December 31, 2015 should be prepared following the G4 Guidelines. To learn more, see the GRI website.

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