UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative Partner for New Areas of Cooperation

Amsterdam, Netherlands

(Amsterdam, 24 May 2013) – The UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) today announced the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding, signed in Amsterdam at the biggest global conference on sustainability and reporting, convening 1600 attendees from over 80 countries. This happened at the historic launch of G4, the fourth generation of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Since their foundation, the world’s two largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiatives have aimed to improve sustainability management, performance and transparency of organizations around the world. The mutual support between GRI and the UN Global Compact has led to the incorporation of the Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption into the G4 guidelines. The final result is the fullest alignment of the GRI guidelines with the Global Compact principles to date.

“The UN Global Compact welcomes the G4 and our renewed partnership with GRI, as we recognize that strategic engagement triggered by universal principles and reporting go hand in hand,” said UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. “ As a valuable option for Global Compact participants to report on their progress, G4 provides clear linkages with our ten principles that will help any company preparing a Global Compact Communication on Progress (COP) to align its reporting with the GRI Guidelines.”

This alignment in guidance on sustainability performance and reporting will provide companies with a clear, strategic and practical roadmap. Any company that wants to report on implementation of the Global Compact principles can do so through the use of G4. The GRI has clearly cross-referenced Global Compact principles and COP requirements in the Standard Disclosures Overview, Quick Links and Implementation Manual. The new guidelines also highlight Global Compact resources and other relevant frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

“The UN Global Compact welcomes the G4 and our renewed partnership with GRI, as we recognize that strategic engagement triggered by universal principles and reporting go hand in hand,” said UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. “

While the renewed agreement affirms a long-standing collaboration and strong alliance between the two global organizations, it also marks the beginning of a number of innovative collaborations, in particular on the post-2015 UN development agenda. As the target date for the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, discussions on new global development priorities and the pivotal role for business are gaining momentum. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has assigned the Global Compact to contribute to the post-2015 development process by consulting with its network of over 7000 businesses to help define the role of the business community. The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, to be held 19-20 September 2013, will unveil an implementation architecture for business to contribute to these global priorities. This architecture will address the importance of corporate transparency and accountability, and link to the role of corporate sustainability reporting for which GRI provides the most widely-used guidance.

Chief Executive of GRI Ernst Ligteringen said, “Both the UN Global Compact principles and the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines help business establish its role in sustainable development. Both frameworks are used by thousands of companies in industrialized and developing countries alike. These companies have found that reporting changes mind frames, that it supports dialogue, and that it helps build understanding and trust between business and communities. The reporting practice built by these thousands of companies is a hugely valuable resource, to be leveraged to measuring sustainable development performance, to scale up the contribution business makes globally to sustainable development.”

The two organizations will work together to provide the increasing number of companies using GRI’s reporting guidelines to develop clear guidance on how to link their sustainability disclosure to potential sustainable development goals.

About the Global Reporting Initiative 
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) produces a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world, to enable greater organizational transparency. The Framework, including the Reporting Guidelines, sets out the Principles and Indicators organizations can use to report their economic, environmental, and social performance. GRI is committed to continuously improving and increasing the use of the Guidelines, which are freely available to the public. GRI, a multi-stakeholder foundation, was set up in the US in 1997 by CERES and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). In 2002, GRI moved its central office to Amsterdam, where the Secretariat is currently located. GRI has regional ‘Focal Points’ in Australia, Brazil, China, India and the USA, and a worldwide network of 30,000 people. www.globalreporting.org

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