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Mandatory Reporting - It has arrived; and here is the Guidance, hot off the press!!!!! Need any support to report, then contact us.
Defra Guidance on Mandatory Reporting Requirements for Quoted Companies: The final version of the guidance for quoted companies which has had Ministerial approval and will be published as part of wider voluntary ghg reporting guidance (the current 2006 guidance has been updated). The document will also include revised guidance for corporate reporting of other environmental impacts using key performance indicators. The final version will be available next month.
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DECC publishes the Government's Heat Strategy and provides an update on the Renewable Heat Incentive
On the 26th March 2013, one year on from the launch of the UK’s first ever heat strategy, the Government has today set out the next steps to ensure affordable, secure, low carbon heating plays an important role in the nation’s energy mix, now and in the years to come.The scale of the challenge is huge, with over 80 per cent of heating used in UK homes, businesses and industry produced by burning fossil fuels, and over a third of the UK’s carbon emissions coming from the energy used to produce heat.
The Government is committed to driving forward the move to low carbon alternatives to cut carbon and help meet renewables targets, and the heat strategy and its follow on action plan published today are an integral part of this vision.
Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “If we can increase the use of low carbon heating in our homes, businesses and across our economy, we can help reduce our dependence on costly carbon intense fossil fuels."
→ Press release
We have observed that there is a great deal of calamity in anticipation of the G4 Guidelines. Much of this debate stem from concerns that G4 may be complex and burdensome. Most are in reaction to the Exposure Draft of G4, which was released for public comment in June 2012.
As Marjolein Baghuis of GRI put it: "GRI is committed to continuously improving its Guidelines to enable organisations of all sizes and sectors to produce better reports. The response to the G4 Exposure Draft was high in quality and quantity, and after the launch, GRI will actively seek feedback on G4 through a structured survey from its first users. This will monitor the implementation of G4 with a view to providing additional or improved guidance as needed".
The final shape of G4 has yet to be revealed, what is clear is the need to be progressive. Understanding sustainability context informs us there is a gap between the world as it is now, and the world as it needs to be. The development of G4 reflects some excellent practices and processes that already help drive some of our better businesses. The GRI Frameworks has always been an opportunity to make the ceiling of today the floor of tomorrow through consensus.
In addition GRI recognise the 'How to do' and 'what to do' issues in response to which there is a raft of support including benchmarking databases, Certified Training Partners; that show organisations large and small how to coordinate the whole reporting process, and 'linkage documents'; which provide guidance for using GRI reporting in combination with other standards such as OECD, CDP, UNGCP, ISO 26000, optimising GRI relative to other ranking and rating organisations. These are just a few of the ways that all types of organisations can be supported in making the transition.
GRI is a collaboration and a public for good seeking a sustainable global economy. The world knows its time to act, and act fast, so we should all strive to race for the top and be glad of the availability of a common and consistent framework where we are free to choose those elements that are material to our organisations.
For many there is a fear of change and we would need an age just to study that, yet we do not have an age, in any case people and habitats are dying now. The pleasing aspect of the discussions is the level of interest, but really, the pace setters are already doing what we all already know is the right thing not only to do, but to aspire to achieve.
Never Give up on Transforming The Future. Climatic records are being broken daily, challenging times need challenging responses.
from → Total Eco Management Ltd.
Sustainability in the field: The effects of sustainability reporting observed by Certified Training Partners
" Sustainability reporting can be a challenging undertaking. As part of GRI’s mission to make sustainability reporting standard practice, it provides guidance and support to organizations interested in producing a sustainability report. The GRI Certified Training Program is an important part of this support.
In recent years, the sustainability reporting field has undergone considerable change. More and more companies are starting to report their environmental, social and economic performance, and the uptake of GRI’s Guidelines is becoming ever more mainstream.
GRI recently conducted a study, asking Certified Training Partners to comment on the benefits and challenges of reporting, and on how sustainability reporting promotes positive change within organizations.
Overall, the Training Partners found there to be increased knowledge of how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) supports business strategy, and a better understanding of how stakeholder feedback can be used to enhance the level of transparency on material sustainability issues.
A number of challenges in the reporting process were identified. The Training Partners noted that for first-time reporters in particular, it can be hard to sell the idea of reporting to higher management and decision makers within an organization: Reporting can be interpreted as burdensome and costly, the effective engagement of stakeholders can be tricky, and it can be difficult to gather and analyze quality data.
There is also the challenge of not conveying too much information, as Niels Ferdinand of BSD Consulting Group Spain says: “Nobody wants to read long sustainability reports, and so the information needs to be focused on the issues that really matter to the relevant stakeholders. This is a difficult task for many companies.”
There are of course many benefits that have been realized by organizations that have undergone GRI training and produced sustainability reports. The Certified Training Partners commented that better stakeholder relationships are often established as a result of reporting, and that due to a systematic identification of risks, organizations are performing better. By tracing performance and producing sustainability reports, there is a noticeable improvement in the planning and communicating of organizational objectives and activities. An enhanced understanding of shared value is reached and a more unified working environment is achieved.
Leeora Black of the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) says: “We believe that those organizations that realize the full value of sustainability reporting see beyond the report itself and use the materiality and sustainability reporting process to review their own business strategies and maintain their stakeholder relationships.”
Similarly, Habiba Al Marashi of Arabia CSR Network notes that sustainability reporting is “very effective in consolidating the wealth of aspects that could be considered for an organization’s CSR strategy.”
Five GRI Certified Training Partners participated in the study: Arabia CSR Network, ACCSR,BSD Consulting Group Spain, Envirostate and Sustainalytics. In general, they found that organizations that have gone through the reporting cycle appear to have developed a clearer focus on what their relevant sustainability issues are. Improved internal organization of sustainability management, and better motivation for CSR activities, were also mentioned as being notable changes observed by organizations that have embarked on the reporting journey.
The GRI Certified Training Program, which is offered in 65 countries around the world by over 70 GRI Certified Training Partners, helps reporters plan and manage the process of producing a sustainability report based on the GRI Guidelines.
GRI selects and certifies local Training Partners to offer a range of GRI Certified Training Courses and Modules that are conducted in the local language, and use local case studies and examples. In the last five years, over 12,500 participants have attended a GRI Certified Training course, and the number is growing continually.
Thanks to the GRI Certified Training Program, a common language has been established around using the GRI Guidelines, and this is benefiting reporters from all walks of life.
from → GRI
" On 31 January 2013, the Government of Norway was welcomed as a new member of the Group of Friends of Paragraph 47, an initiative established during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012. Norway - like the founding members Brazil, Denmark, France and South Africa - has taken a lead role in establishing a culture of corporate sustainability and transparency through implementation of various national policies and initiatives related to this agenda.
The Norwegian Government requested to join during the meeting of the Group of Friends of Paragraph 47 at the Responsible Economy World Forum Lille.
In addition to Norway, the Governments of Argentina, Australia, Gabon and The Netherlands were represented in Lille. Several other governments – including those of Afghanistan, Austria, Benin, Honduras, Israel, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, the Vatican City State and Zimbabwe - expressed their interest in the discussions and outcomes of the meeting. Colombia, Ecuador and Tunisia have also expressed interest in the Group’s activities. "
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