In a move to make corporate reporting less confusing, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) are working together to clarify how companies can use both the GRI Standards and the International <IR> Framework in their integrated reporting.
GRI late last year launched the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, which facilitate corporate sustainability reporting on topics such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use and labor practices, and are the latest evolution of GRI’s reporting disclosures.
The <IR> Framework helps companies connect their financial and non-financial information in corporate reports and business planning, which IIRC says provides a more forward-looking, long-term view of a company’s performance.
Through the 2017 GRI Corporate Leadership Group on integrated reporting (CLGir 2017), the two reporting organizations are working with reporting companies themselves to show how their respective standards and framework can be used together “to provide insights into value creation across the six capitals and drive transparency.” These six capitals are: financial, manufactured, intellectual, human, social and relationship and natural.
It’s a much-needed collaboration as many companies struggle to navigate the sometimes confusing and duplicative disclosure landscape whereby numerous frameworks and standards exist.
CLGir 2017 participant Solvay started its integrated reporting journey in 2015 but with inconsistencies between the GRI Standards and the <IR> Framework, the organization is keen to take a deep dive into how the two can work together.
“We don’t know where Solvay’s reporting future is; what we know is GRI will be here to stay,” said Michel Washer, Solvay’s deputy chief sustainability officer. “Both the GRI Standards and the <IR> Framework focus on materiality analysis and on a limited number of financial, social, and environmental indicators that will be used together to analyze how we create value in the short, medium, and long term. I hope that the CLGir 2017 will help to bridge the current gap that there is between GRI and the IIRC, providing the indicators that are missing for three of the IR capitals and making GRI reporting more future-focused.”
Coordinated by GRI and in collaboration with the IIRC, the Corporate Leadership Group on integrated reporting will explore practical topics, including how companies can embed sustainability into the heart of their operations and business strategy by leveraging GRI Standards and the International <IR> Framework, and how a company’s integrated report can have a meaningful influence on investors’ understanding and perception of the business.
CLGir 2017 participants will participate in four “Leadership Labs,” which will bring together leading sustainability and integrated reporting experts and thought leaders, and will receive feedback from their peers on their own reporting, helping them take steps towards more effective integrated reporting. Their work will also be profiled on the GRI website.
Companies can find out more and apply to join the Corporate Leadership Group on integrated reporting 2017 here.
Last year, GRI, IIRC and some of the other biggest names in corporate reporting — CDP, the Global Reporting Initiative, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, IASB, ISO and SASB — published a landscape map that provides a snapshot of a comparison of their frameworks, standards and related requirements through the lens of integrated reporting.
Under the leadership of IIRC, these eight organizations began collaborating in 2014 through the Corporate Reporting Dialogue, a platform to coordinate and align corporate reporting and the organizations’ respective frameworks, standards and related requirements.