The Global Reporting Initiative will next month launch a service to check whether the most critical disclosures in reports based on its G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are located as stated, and can be easily found by readers.
GRI says the new service reflects G4’s increased emphasis on the need for companies to focus — both in the reporting process and the final report — on those topics that are material to their business and their key stakeholders. This “materiality” focus will make reports more relevant, credible and user-friendly, enabling organizations to better inform markets and society on sustainability matters, GRI says.
The service focuses on 11 disclosures related to materiality, boundary and stakeholder engagement. Reporting firms that use the service will receive formal acknowledgement from GRI that at the time of publication, the disclosures G4-17 to G4-27 from the GRI G4 Guidelines have been correctly located in both the Content Index as well as in the final report. This acknowledgement will be made via an official GRI-branded message that reporting organizations can include in their report to communicate to their stakeholders that the report has been checked.
GRI will start accepting applications for the service on Dec. 2. The first 20 reporting organizations to apply for the service will receive it free of charge. After Dec. 2 it will cost €1,750 ($2,339).
The check service is free for GRI Organizational Stakeholders — GRI’s core supporters.
GRI’s check service is the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at making it easier for companies to prepare sustainability reports. Last week GRI debuted G4 Online, a web-based tool to support organizations preparing sustainability reports using the latest generation of its sustainability reporting guidelines. The free-to-use website presents the complete content of the G4 Guidelines and is designed to support users directly involved in a G4-based reporting process.
GRI also last week established the G4 Pioneers Program, a new initiative exclusively available to Organizational Stakeholders. A total of 84 organizations from 38 countries have signed-up to be part of the program, including large companies such as Nestle, UPS and Telefonica.
GRI has also launched the GRI Taxonomy 2013 that has been fully updated for use with G4. The GRI Taxonomy 2013 — which is available for free — enables reporting companies to apply the advantages of digital reporting to the G4 Guidelines.