The business benefits of sustainability reporting do not go unnoticed: in addition to a useful risk management tool, reporting can also generate savings, inform better decision-making, and increase stakeholder trust. But many companies new to reporting are asking: where should we start?
Over 90 percent of the world’s largest companies are already reporting on their sustainability impacts, and smaller companies are following suit. For many, the reporting journey begins by choosing a disclosure framework. The majority decide to report with the GRI Standards, which provides a comprehensive, flexible and adaptable framework for companies of any size to report on their economic, environmental and social impacts.
However, for newcomers in the reporting world, the range of disclosures, concepts and management approaches might admittedly seem intimidating – and even discourage from starting the process.
“The principle-based approach, disclosures on stakeholder engagement, focus on materiality and a wide range of topics are some of the many features that make the GRI Standards globally the most widely used sustainability framework. GRI’s Kick-off service helps organizations understand these main concepts and translate them into an action plan for their reporting process,” explains Shivani Rajpal, Director, Services, GRI.
Trinseo, a global chemical materials solutions provider, is a new GRI reporter. They decided to start using the GRI Standards in 2018. As a first step, the company signed up for GRI’s Kick-off service, which was completed in July. The service helps organizations to kick-start their reporting process through customized workshops, one-on-one guidance and a final action plan. It is aimed to support first-time or relatively new reporters.
Starting with an evaluation of Trinseo’s current sustainability reporting, the process continued with an online workshop with members of the company’s sustainability council. GRI also participated in a kick-off meeting to give input for Trinseo’s plans for stakeholder engagement and materiality assessment for their next report.
Walter van het Hof, Global Industry Affairs & Sustainability Leader at Trinseo commented: “The close collaboration with GRI and the related services have been a tremendous help to speed up the reporting process in a focused way. It has enabled to bring sustainability to the next level for our company, and make huge progress on our sustainability journey in a relatively short time.”
Thanks to the service, Trinseo began using the GRI Standards in its latest sustainability report and is planning to provide a fully GRI Standards aligned report in 2019.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an international, multi-stakeholder and independent non-profit organization that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability. The GRI was established in 1997 in partnership with the United Nations' Environment Programme (UNEP).