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UMass Dartmouth Compiles First GRI Report for a City

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth researchers have compiled the US’s – and maybe the world’s – first Global Reporting Initiative-based corporate sustainability report for a city.

By communicating over 67 measures of economic, environmental, and societal progress, the city of Fall River (Mass.) 2012 Sustainability Report meets the requirements to be called an A-level report according to the GRI’s G3 standard.

Fall River’s tangible measures of progress include a 40 percent reduction in solid waste flows to landfills, according to a media release. The release does not detail over what period of time this reduction occurred.

MBA students at UMass Dartmouth, led by Robert C. Muller of the Net Impact student group and associate professor Adam J. Sulkowski, prepared the GRI report. They collected data from various city departments.

Fall River says it has confirmed that it is the first US city to produce such a report, but is waiting to find out if a city in Australia released a GRI report first.

The Netherlands-based GRI developed the sustainability reporting standards that over 4,000 organizations around the world now use, including 80 percent of the world’s largest companies.

In October, GRI announced that it had received a record number of 3,095 formal feedback submissions during comment periods on the next generation of its reporting guidelines. As part of the development process of G4, GRI held public comment periods in 2011 and 2012, to gather opinions on sustainability reporting through an online survey.

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