Walk the talk, you are what you do, not what you say - watch this Indigenous Environmental Network at COP21
GRI has upgraded its Sustainability Disclosure Database. The UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.6 – Live Tracker, provides information that governments and other corporate stakeholders can use to understand how the uptake of sustainability reporting is progressing around the world. The Target 12.6 – Live Tracker can be found now on GRI’s Sustainability Disclosure Database. Page Content UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.6 lays out a global ambition for governments to develop initiatives that stimulate businesses to report on their sustainability impacts. Specifically, Target 12.6 calls upon UN Members States to “encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.” As a result, over the next 15 years, the UN and all UN Member States are tasked with not only cultivating a business climate in which more companies report on their contributions to the SDGs, but they should also monitor and track these efforts. GRI developed the SDG Target 12.6 – Live Tracker, in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services, to assist governments in monitoring and tracking progress. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), one of the leading Global IT Services companies, is at the forefront of developing technology solutions that enhance effectiveness of sustainability interventions, and improve Monitoring and Evaluation, thereby enabling better decision making.
“By explicitly acknowledging the critical role companies must play in creating the conditions for sustainable development, the SDGs are an important leap forward from the Millennium Development Goals, which they now succeed,” said GRI’s Deputy Chief Executive Teresa Fogelberg. “In order for governments to develop initiatives to increase sustainability reporting, they first need to understand the current state of play within their respective jurisdictions. The SDG Target 12.6 - Live Tracker will provide an overview of sustainability policies and reporting practices by companies around the world. This will enable smart policy and drive the innovation needed to achieve the SDGs.”
GRI supports decision makers who are committed to achieving the SDGs. GRI’s work in this area is focused on the sustainability reporting process, the value of the information that comes from it and getting this data into the right hands. By helping companies report their contributions to the SDGs, GRI facilitates the creation of data, which governments can use to track progress toward the SDGs and inform better decision making.
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The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will:
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President Obama Announces the Clean Power Plan
GRI unveils first-ever professional exam to test knowledge of the G4 Guidelines and the GRI Reporting process.
On February 2, 2015, Amsterdam GRI, architect of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework, unveiled the GRI G4 Exam, a first-of-its-kind opportunity for sustainability professionals to demonstrate their knowledge of G4 and the GRI Reporting Process. Individuals who have attended one of GRI’s Certified Training Courses or Training Modules are now eligible to take the G4 Exam for a fee. Trainees who earn a passing score on the exam will receive a certificate to that effect and their names will be listed on the GRI website. In this way, these practitioners can increase their credibility and good reputation in the sustainability field.
Of GRI’s decision to develop the G4 Exam, Chief Executive Michael Meehan said, “With more than 17,000 GRI reports registered in our database and more than 19,000 professionals having attended a GRI Certified Training Course, the practice of sustainability reporting is poised to take a quantum leap, as organizations begin using the reporting process for strategic decision-making, to innovate and create value for their stakeholders. The G4 Exam will help stimulate this next step in sustainable development by increasing the number of highly skilled professionals working in the field.”
The GRI G4 Exam tests candidates on their knowledge of the content of the G4 Guidelines, as well as the 5 phases of the GRI Reporting process: Prepare, Connect, Define, Monitor and Report. The exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions and test takers will be given 90 minutes to complete them. Candidates, who score at least 75%, will receive a passing mark. The exam can be taken at 4,500 test centers in 70 countries and individuals only become eligible to do so after attending a training course or module given by one of GRI’s Certified Training Partners. Candidates in developing countries can take this exam for a reduced fee and members of GRI’s OS Program are also eligible for a discount.
“Since 2008, thousands of sustainability professionals have attended one of the high-quality courses provided by our Certified Training Partners,” said GRI’s Director of Services Asthildur Hjaltadottir. “The GRI G4 Exam is the logical next step, giving trainees a chance to show their thorough understanding of our framework.” For more information please visit the GRI website or email us.
The value of Integrated Reporting is now widely acknowledged in the market, according to a new white paper, 'Allocating Capital for Long-Term Returns' released by the Generation Foundation in May 2015.
The paper evaluates the progress made towards the recommendations set out in their initial white paper, 'Sustainable Capitalism' released back in 2012. Their conclusion is that the new model of capitalism they proposed, which included Integrated Reporting, "has gained significant momentum and support".
The report states that, "An increasing number of companies are practicing Integrated Reporting or are in the process of making a transition to Integrated Reporting, suggesting the market acknowledges [its] value". It suggests this change has happened due to the range of benefits <IR> has to offer, such as a more holistic view of performance and better insight into risk, strategy, the business model, the operating context and governance. It concludes that studies now find that firms practicing Integrated Reporting are "able to attract more long-term investors to their ownership base".
The report, which draws heavily on the research of a wide-ranging number of organizations, continues stating that, "a focus on the long-term through Integrated Reporting is especially important in a modern market with shifting macroeconomic values, wherein an average of 84 percent of the market value of companies now lies in intangible assets".
The Generation Foundation is the advocacy initiative of Generation Investment Management of which David Blood is the Senior Partner. Blood has been an important supporter of Integrated Reporting since the IIRC’s inception, having authored with Al Gore 'A Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism' in 2011. In this manifesto they argued that, "Despite an increase in the volume and frequency of information made available by companies, access to more data for public equity investors has not necessarily translated into more comprehensive insight into companies. Integrated Reporting addresses this problem by encouraging companies to integrate both their finances and ESG performance into one report that includes only the most salient or material metrics. This enables companies and investors to make better resource-allocation decisions by seeing how ESG performance contributes to sustainable long-term value creation."
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This month marks the second anniversary of the launch of the GRI G4 Guidelines, which were released at the 2013 Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency in Amsterdam. On the whole, the sustainability reporting community has given G4, with its increased focus on stakeholder engagement and materiality, a warm welcome. The transition has been gradual and around one-third of GRI reporters have already switched to G4 (see the graph below).
When G4 was released, GRI’s Board of Directors announced that the G3 and G3.1 Guidelines would stay in effect until 31 December 2015, by which time all reporters were expected to have transitioned to G4. December may seem far away but in terms of an organisation’s reporting cycle, it’s right around the corner. As of 1 January 2016, G3 and G3.1 will no longer be available on the GRI website and GRI will discontinue all products and services related to those versions of the Guidelines. Nevertheless, in collaboration with its network of Data Partners, GRI will continue to register all sustainability reports in its Sustainability Disclosure Database, which currently contains more than 24,000 reports, over 1,000 of which are G4 based.
Finally, a message to organisations that are considering whether to make the switch to G4…
GRI’s Guidelines have evolved over the past two decades to reflect best practice and developments in sustainability. G4 is the product of an unprecedented multi-stakeholder engagement process, which included input from thousands of practitioners and experts from around the world. Organisations can use the G4 Guidelines to understand, manage, and communicate their most important impacts. In doing so, they empower their stakeholders to make informed decisions that can lead to a more sustainable economy and world. For more information on the G4 Guidelines please visit GRI's website here.
We at TEM would like to congratulate Mr Meehan on his recent appointment as CEO of GRI. Mr Meehan is a veteran sustainability CEO and entrepreneur.
At TEM our mission is for a sustainable global economies, so it is easy to see how we would be natural GRI partners. We have engaged with all aspects of GRI to support its growth and development, and we are positioned well to continue to do so from what Mr Meehan has had to say as his tenure at GRI begins.
We see the quality of reporting as an issue, but with GRI Certified Training Partner support and Guidance it need not be. TEM were the first of the GRI training partners to deliver the latest G4 programme. As we continue to decouple TEMs growth from the use of scarce limited resources, we have written a must have book on how to sustainability/integrated report available from Do Short; authors Kye Gbangbola and Nicole Lawler.
Mr. Meehan has almost twenty years’ experience in the sustainability field, including sustainable supply chain and carbon/energy reporting technologies. Specializing in bringing innovative corporate sustainability issues and solutions to the public, he has advised a range of stakeholders including investors, startups and governments. A visionary leader and CEO, Mr. Meehan has led companies in several countries, including Carbonetworks (2004-2010) and iVeridis Corporation (2010-2013). Focused on the intersection of innovation and sustainability, he has also advised multinationals worldwide on sustainability issues.
Michael Meehan comments: “I look forward to leading GRI’s executive team and the organization broadly to further strengthen GRI’s role in establishing sustainability reporting as a valuable global standard practice. I believe this is a pivotal time in sustainability reporting where innovation and collaboration are critical components of every organization’s sustainability strategy. GRI will continue playing its role in mainstreaming sustainability disclosures, and ultimately making a significant contribution to global sustainable development.
At TEM we will continue to encourage better Assurance and bringing awareness and knowledge of reporting to the public so the whole of society are enabled to engage in what the GRI logo of compliance says about an organisation.
The outgoing GRI CEO; Ernst Ligteringen, made GRI and sustainability reporting globally mainstream for which we all owe him and the GRI secretariat a huge vote of thanks. It is now Michael Meehan's time with his own set of transformative ideas to build upon Ernst's achievments. At TEM we are only too happy to offer him our full support.
Since GRI was established more than fifteen years ago, there has been rapid growth in corporate sustainability reporting Sustainability reporting is now mainstream amongst the world’s largest companies, and GRI is the de facto global standard. 95% of the largest companies in the world (G250) are now preparing sustainability reports, with 82% of those referring to GRI . Around the world, more companies and their investors and stakeholders are seeking to integrate sustainability considerations in their operations. Governments and other regulators, including stock exchanges, are increasingly developing policies and regulation in this area, and are seeking appropriate frameworks to reference.
Zinc and cyanide could join three drugs on the watch list of substances that member states will have to monitor in water from September 2015.
ENDS has seen an early draft of the list that has been circulated among EU member states and other interested parties, along with proposed criteria for either adding or removing further hazardous substances.
The list is being developed by the European Commission under the Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) Directive for substances that may pose a risk to the water environment, but where monitoring data is currently lacking.
The idea of a watch list was formed last year after member states decided there was not enough data to set legal EQS limits for three drugs: diclofenac and the contraceptive drug hormones E2 and EE2.
As a result, the revised EQS directive gives the Commission until 14 September 2014 to finalise the first watch list of up to 10 substances. It will be updated every two years thereafter and can grow to 14 substances.
Substances that may pose a significant risk to or via the aquatic environment can be considered for listing, according to the proposed criteria. This means there should be “reliable evidence of hazard and of a possible exposure risk”.
There should be insufficient monitoring data to conclude whether this possible risk warrants listing as a priority substance with associated EQS.
Substances banned or due to be banned under other pieces of EU legislation should not be listed unless emissions from sources such as imported products might be expected, or where the substances are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB).
The Commission anticipates that more than seven substances might be proposed for inclusion alongside the three drugs, and suggests prioritisation criteria such as the hazardousness of the substance and its relevance to drinking water.
The extent and nature of its use should also be considered along with the ease of monitoring it in the water environment.
Proposed criteria for de-selection from the watch list include where monitoring data “do not suggest that a significant risk is likely to be identified, and space is urgently needed” on the list for another substance.
The paper says monitoring under the watch list should account for natural background levels of a substance. Monitoring site selection should take account of polluting inputs, with exceedances only reflecting risks to the wider water environment.
An annex to the proposals lists free cyanide and bioavailable zinc as substances that could be added to the watch list. Both were highly ranked during the last review of priority substances but monitoring data was lacking, the paper notes.
A draft first watch list will be agreed in May and a final draft in July. This will be finalised during August and September according to internal commission procedures.
Original post http://www.endseurope.com/35234/zinc-and-cyanide-could-join-eu-water-watch-list
Zinc and cyanide could join EU water watch list
By Simon Evans
ENDS Europe, 20 March 2014
Water, river (Credit: Mark Devine CC BY-SA 2.0)
Sustainability is a word I use and hear every day and it could be said the catch phrase of this generation… it means learning how to use current resources in a way that does not harm the future. Yet the wisdom of sustainability is rarely applied to love, which, I believe is the source of life energy from which all else springs. Love is an action verb and a developmental skill set which evolves with time and practice.