Author Archives: Aleksandra Dobkowski-Joy
(This post was first published in Triple Pundit. For information on how Framework LLC can support your transition to GRI G4, please see our related services.)
As sustainability reporting has gone from vanguard to mainstay over the past decade, sustainability professionals have struggled with the question of who actually wades through the reams of data that comprise a typical report—especially one developed to the highest GRI Application Levels.
The most feared of the possible answers? That a handful of specialist readers—perhaps mostly sustainability consultants—might be the only dedicated consumers of this information. The specter of investing months of work only to reach such a narrow readership can be dispiriting to Chief Sustainability Officers and sustainability teams and add to the challenges of advocating for budgets and resources.
Now, it’s clear that while limited, the primary audience for sustainability reporting can also be an influential one that includes ratings and… More
Framework LLC has worked hand-in-hand with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to foster and promote the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines as a GRI organizational stakeholder since 2005 and as provider of reporting and advisory services to our clients for nearly a decade.
After working with the GRI G3 for many years—and interpreting these guidelines for our clients equally in their nuance as well as in their limitations—we were keenly interested in reviewing the proposed G4 guidelines. Unfortunately, in our estimation, if the G4 Guidelines were implemented as currently drafted, undue complexity and reporting burden would be the order of the day.
Materiality analysis—a rigorous and replicable process of prioritizing issues, risks, and opportunities using stakeholder inputs and company insights—is gaining ever-greater recognition as an important tool in bridging the strategy/sustainability divide.
Over the past two years, Framework analyzed companies recognized as sustainability leaders on CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens to determine the role that materiality analysis played in their corporate sustainability disclosures and strategic planning. Our results show a gradual increase in the application of materiality analysis to identify issues and guide reporting; even more interestingly, we found upward trending in the cross-over of material “sustainability” issues to the companies’ annual financial reporting (10-K filings).
We believe that greater use of materiality analysis is indicative of efforts by companies to span the gap between strategy and sustainability; in fact, materiality analysis represents one of the few methodologies capable of demonstrating the cross-cutting significance of ESG… More