Sustainability Reporting

Posted on January 4, 2011 by

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization that has pioneered the development of the most widely used sustainability reporting framework of the world and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide.
In order to ensure the highest degree of technical quality, credibility, and relevance, the reporting framework is developed through a consensus-seeking process with participants drawn globally from business, civil society, labour, and professional institutions.

The Framework

This framework sets out the principles and indicators that organizations can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, and social performance.

The cornerstone of the framework is the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The third version of the Guidelines known as the G3 Guidelines and were published in 2006, and are free public good. They provide guidance for organizations to disclose their sustainability performance. It is applicable to organizations of any size or type, and from any sector or geographic region, and has been used by thousands of organizations worldwide as the basis for their sustainability reporting. It facilitates transparency and accountability by organizations and provides stakeholders a universally-applicable, comparable framework from which to understand disclosed information. Other components of the framework include;

°         Sector Supplements: Unique indicators for industry sectors

°         National Annexes: Unique country-level information

Sector Supplements

Some sectors have unique needs that require specialized guidance in addition to the universally applicable core set of Guidelines. Sector Supplements respond to these needs and constitute a key part of the Reporting Framework. A Sector Supplement is a tailored version of the G3 Guidelines which contains integrated commentary and new disclosure items specifically for a given sector.

Sector Supplements are available for sectors like Electric Utilities, Financial Services, Food Processing, Mining & Metals and NGO. Sector Supplements for sectors like Airport Operators, Construction & Real Estate, Event Organizations, Media and Oil & Gas are in development stage.

National Annexes

It’s a new element to the reporting framework. National Annexes are developed for use in conjunction with the Guidelines, and will address country or regional sustainability issues to solve certain country specific problems.


Sustainability reports based on the GRI framework can be used to benchmark organizational performance with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards and voluntary initiatives; demonstrate organizational commitment to sustainable development; and compare organizational performance over time.

GRI promotes and develops this standardized approach to reporting to stimulate demand for sustainability information – which will benefit reporting organizations and those who use report information alike.

Fact and figures about GRI and GRI Reports

Trend in GRI Reporting

Trend in GRI Reporting

As the adjoining graph shows, the numbers of reports registered have doubled from 2007 to 2009. From 2008 to 2009 there was a 29% increase in GRI reporting. In 2008, the number of GRI reports exceeded 1000 for the first time. Statistics for 2010 will be available soon.






Split of GRI Reports by country

Country distribution of GRI reports

Organizations across many countries have gone for Sustainable Development Reporting under the Global Reporting Initiative. The pie chart shown gives the information about a country and its share in total number of GRI reports submitted till year 2009. Organizations from Spain registered 140 reports in 2009, followed by US organizations with 132 GRI reports. Brazilian organizations registered 67 reports in 2009, representing the highest number from a non-OECD country.





Region-wise contribution to GRI Reports

As expected, Europe leads way ahead of other regions with 45 % of share. It is followed by Asia. The pie chart shown gives percentage of all the regions for year 2009. Whereas the fact corresponds with historical trends is North America and Asia have been continuously trading places as the second largest reporting region over the years.







For a more detailed list of year wise, sector wise and region wise reports, visit the website of Global Reporting Initiative. To view list go for The GRI Reports List



Sumedh Patankar and Omkar Khedkar



1. Global Reporting Initiative

Posted in: Sustainability