Key Partsof the GRI Framework TheGlobal Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an independent institution with a purposeto develop and distribute Sustainability Reporting Guidelines which arerelevant all over the world. These Guidelines can be used voluntarily byorganizations.
It provides a holistic framework that addresses the wide-rangeof activities pertaining to society, the environment and the economy. Withthis, an organization’s mission in CSR can be guided to have an actual effectin sustainability. It is an internationally accepted framework that helpsorganizations measure and benchmark their own performance targets, internallyand externally. By reading these reports, employees can be inspired to takepart in improving performance.
The GRI Framework has four mainparts. These are:· SustainabilityReporting Guidelines which aremade up of principles used to define report content and make sure the qualityof conveyed information is acceptable. It also contains Standard Disclosurescomprised of Performance Indicators and other items to be disclosed. It alsoprovides supervision on particular specialized topics in reporting while emphasizing the link between financial andnon-financial performance · IndicatorProtocols areavailable for every Performance Indicator within in the Guidelines. TheseProtocols offer descriptions and explanations, guidance in gathering data, andother figures to assist reporters and to guarantee reliability in interpretingthe Performance Indicators.
Guidelines users are also encouraged to utilize theIndicator Protocols which results instreamlining processes, reducing costs and improving efficiency · SectorSupplementsprovide supervision in how to apply the guidelines in a particular sector anduse sector-specific Performance Indicators. These are specially created withthe inputs of international stakeholders and underwent due process beforeapproval. · TechnicalProtocols regulate how to handle issues in the report, one of which is thescope. These are meant to be work hand-in-hand with the Guidelines and SectorSupplements to help tackle difficulties while creating the report. Advantagesin Using the GRI Framework Utilizingthe GRI reporting framework is an important stage in the pursuit of asustainable global economy. Reporting enhances companies’ accountability fortheir impacts and therefore enhances trust while facilitating the sharing ofvalues on which to build a more cohesive society.
The availability ofsustainability information can be used by governments to assess the impact andcontribution of businesses to the economy and to know which problems are being handledby which organizations. WithGRI reports, the accountability of companies regarding their impacts to asustainable world are increased. This entices confidence and trust towardsthese organizations since they have a big responsibility in having a bettersociety.
Governments, businesses and the people will readily share ideas andvalues. The sustainability reports can be used to measure and evaluate the positiveand negative influences of a company to the economy.THEGRI framework helps in the efficient functioning of markets and shows thecondition of the economy. This will push businesses towards advancement andcontribute to the healthy development of a society that is sustainable. Reportingcan also be used by enterprises to avoid stagnation. By going through thereports, companies may be able to create products and services that are new tothe market thus giving them an edge. Usingthe GRI reporting framework brings merit to multiple matters such as:· Creation of trustWith honesty and responsibility, anorganization can show great leadership. Being open about financial ornon-financial aspects of the company’s performance boost its standing in theeyes of stakeholders and build an exchange of productive ideas and feedbacks.
· Improvement ofprocesses and systemsQuantifying and monitoring energy use, rawmaterials and waste depicted in GRI reports can help in the enhancement of themanagement of an organization and in making decisions pertinent to costs.· Progression ofvision and strategyA company’s vision and strategy can encompassmore and be stronger with the GRI framework. By examining its praiseworthyaspects and shortcomings, with the input of its stakeholders, the company isable alter, add or totally change its vision and strategy as necessary whileadding sustainability.· Reduction ofcompliance costsRegulations can be met by assessingperformance in sustainability.
This also prevents regulatory penalties and datagathering can entail less cost but with more efficiency. Ways theGRI Framework Aids in Company Policy Development Due to thedemands of company stakeholders, corporate social responsibility has becomemore important in that it needs to be integrated with the overall businessstrategy. More and more people are becoming aware and concerned about what acompany is doing with regards to the social, environmental and economic bottomline. Leaders have to understand what these reports provide and make decisionsinto actions within their policy.
Walmart, amultinational retail giant that owns and runs a multitude of department storesand is one the largest public corporations in the world has been one of themain proponents of sustainability. Withsustainability reports, they were able to see how much they were consuming andits impacts regarding the environment. Former Walmart CEO Lee Scott pledgedthat the company someday would be supplied entirely by renewable energy, thatit would eliminate waste and that it would sell products that sustain peopleand the environment (Gunther 2018). The companyimplemented policies directed to achieving this pledge. It was able to reduceits greenhouse gas emissions by 28.2 million tons in 2015, exceeding the targetof 20 million. They were on track to save $1 billion dollars through betterloading procedures, routes and driving habits. Walmart, in an effort to improvethe lives of workers in its supply chain supported Bangladesh worker safety andfought against human trafficking (Gunther 2018).
Moving down under, Westpac has been hailed ten times asthe most sustainable bank in the world (Westpac.com.au, 2018). It has been a GRI member for over fifteenyears and spearheads CSR. One main point of focus that is always present inWestpac sustainability reports is their Paper Purchasing policy with theintention of reducing the amount of paper used and ensure suppliers aresocially responsible and with sustainable business practices. Westpac obligedthese companies to give details on how they reduced impacts to the environment inrunning their enterprise and of future plans relating to CSR. Suppliers arequestioned regarding labor standards, governance, community involvement,environmental action and policies, and their market.
Westpac’s suppliers areencouraged to implement comparable CSR values to continue as business partners.CSR along with sustainable reporting are crucialcomponents which help shape how companies do their business. More and moreorganizations are making use of sustainable reports such as those from GRI toknow where they are at, what areas to improve on and what changes to apply totheir policies. Sustainability Framework and CSRUndertakings of Nike, Inc. Manyorganizations around the world employ the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)guidelines known as Sustainability ReportingGuidelines.
It is comprised of environmental, social and financial issues.The GRI framework is used by Nike and is one of the catalysts in changing itsimage from law breaker to sustainability icon. Based on Nike’s FY14-15Sustainable Business Report, we can see the implementation of GRI’s guidelines.In their report, they have shown their use of General and Specific StandardDisclosures from the framework and also utilized its performance indicators.TheGRI framework contributes to the CSR programs of Nike by helping the companyunderstand and convey its impacts on the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) which is alsoknown as “people, planet and profit”.
This TBL concept is fostered by GRI toall businesses. Reports tend to be used for benchmarking and assessingsustainability performance with respect to laws, norms, codes, performancestandards, and voluntary initiatives. Its usefulness includes demonstrating howthe organization influences and is influenced by expectations about sustainabledevelopment and for comparing performance within an organization and betweendifferent organizations over time. By giving Nike a conventional way to reporttheir current performance in relation to social, environmental and economicissues, 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 GRIguidelines which are agreed upon by many organizations around the world helpdirect 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 addressthe issues. Through the reports Nike is able to look at the different aspectsthat contribute to their business and highlight areas that need to be improved.
Oneof the main areas of CSR by Nike pertains to its supply chain. For over adecade it has been infamous for ‘sweatshop labor’. Thus, Nike was determined tochange this perception and was one of the first big organizations to report onand be transparent about the situation with their suppliers. Using the GRIframework, it went public with its list of suppliers in its fiscal year 2004CSR 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 wasable to “weed out” contract factories with violations regarding the minimum agelimit, minimum wage and overtime hours, employee abuse, acceptable emissions, health and safety. Itencouraged long-term partnerships by reducing the number of factories andmaking them invest in their workers for the long-term.