of the GRI Framework
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an independent institution with a purpose
to develop and distribute Sustainability Reporting Guidelines which are
relevant all over the world. These Guidelines can be used voluntarily by
organizations. It provides a holistic framework that addresses the wide-range
of activities pertaining to society, the environment and the economy. With
this, an organization’s mission in CSR can be guided to have an actual effect
in sustainability. It is an internationally accepted framework that helps
organizations measure and benchmark their own performance targets, internally
and externally. By reading these reports, employees can be inspired to take
part in improving performance.
The GRI Framework has four main
parts. These are:
Reporting Guidelines which are
made up of principles used to define report content and make sure the quality
of conveyed information is acceptable. It also contains Standard Disclosures
comprised of Performance Indicators and other items to be disclosed. It also
provides supervision on particular specialized topics in reporting while emphasizing the link between financial and
available for every Performance Indicator within in the Guidelines. These
Protocols offer descriptions and explanations, guidance in gathering data, and
other figures to assist reporters and to guarantee reliability in interpreting
the Performance Indicators. Guidelines users are also encouraged to utilize the
Indicator Protocols which results in
streamlining processes, reducing costs and improving efficiency
provide supervision in how to apply the guidelines in a particular sector and
use sector-specific Performance Indicators. These are specially created with
the inputs of international stakeholders and underwent due process before
Protocols regulate how to handle issues in the report, one of which is the
scope. These are meant to be work hand-in-hand with the Guidelines and Sector
Supplements to help tackle difficulties while creating the report.
in Using the GRI Framework
the GRI reporting framework is an important stage in the pursuit of a
sustainable global economy. Reporting enhances companies’ accountability for
their impacts and therefore enhances trust while facilitating the sharing of
values on which to build a more cohesive society. The availability of
sustainability information can be used by governments to assess the impact and
contribution of businesses to the economy and to know which problems are being handled
by which organizations.
GRI reports, the accountability of companies regarding their impacts to a
sustainable world are increased. This entices confidence and trust towards
these organizations since they have a big responsibility in having a better
society. Governments, businesses and the people will readily share ideas and
values. The sustainability reports can be used to measure and evaluate the positive
and negative influences of a company to the economy.
GRI framework helps in the efficient functioning of markets and shows the
condition of the economy. This will push businesses towards advancement and
contribute to the healthy development of a society that is sustainable. Reporting
can also be used by enterprises to avoid stagnation. By going through the
reports, companies may be able to create products and services that are new to
the market thus giving them an edge.
the GRI reporting framework brings merit to multiple matters such as:
Creation of trust
With honesty and responsibility, an
organization can show great leadership. Being open about financial or
non-financial aspects of the company’s performance boost its standing in the
eyes of stakeholders and build an exchange of productive ideas and feedbacks.
processes and systems
Quantifying and monitoring energy use, raw
materials and waste depicted in GRI reports can help in the enhancement of the
management of an organization and in making decisions pertinent to costs.
vision and strategy
A company’s vision and strategy can encompass
more and be stronger with the GRI framework. By examining its praiseworthy
aspects and shortcomings, with the input of its stakeholders, the company is
able alter, add or totally change its vision and strategy as necessary while
Regulations can be met by assessing
performance in sustainability. This also prevents regulatory penalties and data
gathering can entail less cost but with more efficiency.
GRI Framework Aids in Company Policy Development
Due to the
demands of company stakeholders, corporate social responsibility has become
more important in that it needs to be integrated with the overall business
strategy. More and more people are becoming aware and concerned about what a
company is doing with regards to the social, environmental and economic bottom
line. Leaders have to understand what these reports provide and make decisions
into actions within their policy.
multinational retail giant that owns and runs a multitude of department stores
and is one the largest public corporations in the world has been one of the
main proponents of sustainability. With
sustainability reports, they were able to see how much they were consuming and
its impacts regarding the environment. Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott pledged
that the company someday would be supplied entirely by renewable energy, that
it would eliminate waste and that it would sell products that sustain people
and the environment (Gunther 2018). The company
implemented policies directed to achieving this pledge. It was able to reduce
its greenhouse gas emissions by 28.2 million tons in 2015, exceeding the target
of 20 million. They were on track to save $1 billion dollars through better
loading procedures, routes and driving habits. Walmart, in an effort to improve
the lives of workers in its supply chain supported Bangladesh worker safety and
fought against human trafficking (Gunther 2018).
Moving down under, Westpac has been hailed ten times as
the most sustainable bank in the world (Westpac.com.au, 2018). It has been a GRI member for over fifteen
years and spearheads CSR. One main point of focus that is always present in
Westpac sustainability reports is their Paper Purchasing policy with the
intention of reducing the amount of paper used and ensure suppliers are
socially responsible and with sustainable business practices. Westpac obliged
these companies to give details on how they reduced impacts to the environment in
running their enterprise and of future plans relating to CSR. Suppliers are
questioned regarding labor standards, governance, community involvement,
environmental action and policies, and their market. Westpac’s suppliers are
encouraged to implement comparable CSR values to continue as business partners.
CSR along with sustainable reporting are crucial
components which help shape how companies do their business. More and more
organizations are making use of sustainable reports such as those from GRI to
know where they are at, what areas to improve on and what changes to apply to
Sustainability Framework and CSR
Undertakings of Nike, Inc.
organizations around the world employ the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
guidelines known as Sustainability Reporting
Guidelines. It is comprised of environmental, social and financial issues.
The GRI framework is used by Nike and is one of the catalysts in changing its
image from law breaker to sustainability icon. Based on Nike’s FY14-15
Sustainable Business Report, we can see the implementation of GRI’s guidelines.
In their report, they have shown their use of General and Specific Standard
Disclosures from the framework and also utilized its performance indicators.
GRI framework contributes to the CSR programs of Nike by helping the company
understand and convey its impacts on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) which is also
known as “people, planet and profit”. This TBL concept is fostered by GRI to
all businesses. Reports tend to be used for benchmarking and assessing
sustainability performance with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance
standards, and voluntary initiatives. Its usefulness includes demonstrating how
the organization influences and is influenced by expectations about sustainable
development and for comparing performance within an organization and between
different organizations over time. By giving Nike a conventional way to report
their current performance in relation to social, environmental and economic
issues, Nike is then able to communicate where they are at regarding targets,
what they are doing to meet those targets and plans for the future. The GRI
guidelines which are agreed upon by many organizations around the world help
direct Nike or any other company on what to report on and how to report on it.
The data collected is then analyzed and relevant policy can be made to address
the issues. Through the reports Nike is able to look at the different aspects
that contribute to their business and highlight areas that need to be improved.
of the main areas of CSR by Nike pertains to its supply chain. For over a
decade it has been infamous for ‘sweatshop labor’. Thus, Nike was determined to
change this perception and was one of the first big organizations to report on
and be transparent about the situation with their suppliers. Using the GRI
framework, it went public with its list of suppliers in its fiscal year 2004
CSR report, a feat rarely done by companies at the time. Throughout the years,
with GRI’s performance indicators and ways to report these findings, Nike was
able to “weed out” contract factories with violations regarding the minimum age
limit, minimum wage and overtime hours, employee abuse, acceptable emissions, health and safety. It
encouraged long-term partnerships by reducing the number of factories and
making them invest in their workers for the long-term.