Close but no Cigar – Companies Report Sustainability Performance in Record Numbers but Remain a Minority

sky-and-grass.jpgMore companies now than ever – a record 1,000 organizations – are reporting their sustainability performance to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the GRI reported Tuesday. But while this 46 percent increase from the previous year is good news, it is not, GRI Chief Executive Ernst Ligteringen emphasized, adequate for addressing the global environmental crisis.

The GRI is an Amsterdam-based initiative responsible for creating the GRI G3 Guidelines, sustainability measurement standards on which many state-owned companies worldwide rely.
Of the 1,000 reporting companies of which the GRI is aware, Spanish companies produced the most sustainability reports (128 reports), followed by the U.S. (100), Brazil (64), Australia and the U.K. (56), Japan (49), Germany and South Africa (41), Italy (38), and Canada (36). Many of these companies were also included in the world’s leading stock markets, although these companies were, for the most part, a minority of companies in their respective countries’ markets. 48 percent of France’s CAC 40, 22 percent of the UK’s FTSE 100, 13 percent of the U.S.’s S&P, and 64 percent of Germany’s DAX (not a minority) reported sustainability measures to the GRI.
In its ongoing efforts to increase organizational sustainability disclosure, the GRI issued the Amsterdam Declaration on Transparency and Reporting this year. The Declaration calls on Amsterdam’s government to mandate that companies either report their sustainability or explain why they do not report. Sweden has already adopted such a system (for state-owned companies), and Denmark, Norway, and China (among other countries) are developing similar systems.

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

Leave a Reply