It takes some time to navigate the Exposure Draft, especially for those not intimately acquainted with the existing G3 Framework. My initial reaction after having spent time studying the draft is: Kudos! There’s been some serious thinking going on. It’s quite a step-change for confirming. People acquired sit up and notice better. To offer guidance in a user-friendly way, so that new reporters can understand and use the Guidelines easily.
To enhance the specialized quality of the Guidelines’ content to be able to get rid of ambiguities and differing interpretations – for the advantage of reporters and information users alike. To harmonize whenever you can with other accepted requirements internationally. Bastian Buck, July in the GRI webinar on 4th. Adrian Henriques, an insightful CSR commentator, has pronounced on G4 already, saying it represents a step change in reporting and it would be childish to oppose it. Dwayne Baraka, another great CSR protagonist, has given G4 “big ticks”!
The very first thing you see about the full-Exposure Draft is that it’s 325 web pages. Oh, but it offers the whole current GRI Framework including all the pieces that have not transformed. So don’t get worried, you don’t need to read everything. In fact, you can download a just-the-changes-only record which, of them costing only 131 webpages, is a real doddle. But if you discover that also to be a little daunting then your four-page summary is perfect for you. If that, too, is overload, continue reading! This post is definately not an elevator pitch, but I have tried to draw out the main factors.
Before we go any more, the best way to give opinions on the G4 Exposure Draft is by way of the GRI Consultation Platform. It needs a second to join up and answer as few or as many of the relevant questions as you wish or provide open comments. I believe this is important. The opinions will be examined by the GRI bespoke G4 Working Organizations and the Technical Advisory Council, and then the new full draft will be approved by GRI Governance Bodies. The public comment period on this Exposure Draft is open until 25th September.
The release is planned in-may 2013, at the GRI Conference in Amsterdam – a meeting not to be missed! Instead, every reporter must meet the very least threshold to meet the criteria as a GRI Report, with a two-report grace period for first-time reporters to get accustomed to the new stuff. Boundary: G4 provides clearer guidance on how to select what to report, shifting the target posts from the in which a company works to what sort of company influences through its total Value Chain.
- Tracks delivery vs costs vs benefits
- Use Your Facebook Page For Cross Promotion
- Adds to the GNP
- Smoothie Blender
- Follow up call
Disclosure on Management Approach: Reporting on management strategy should now be driven by identified material aspects. G4 includes new screening, remediation, and assessment confirming indicators. Governance and Remuneration: More disclosures to strengthen the link between governance and sustainability performance and just how remuneration is determined. Supply Chain: More comprehensive definitions and much more detailed reporting requirements. Structure and Format: Changes in the way the content is provided to make it easier for individuals to understand. Exit Application Levels. Enter Materiality. All of the Profile Disclosure Items.
Disclosures on Management Approach and Core Indicators related to all of the Material Aspects identified through the use of the Technical Protocol: Defining Report Content and Boundaries. All disclosures determined in any applicable GRI Sector Supplement(s). A GRI Content Index as specified in the GRI Guidelines. Exactly what does this mean? In G3, as most of you probably know, there is a modular method of transparency that your Application Levels are designed to reveal. Profile Disclosures, no Management Disclosures, and a selection of 10 Performance Indicators (Core or Non-Core).
At Application Level A, Sector Supplements, where available, must also be included. So far, of the 587 reports published in 2012 and logged in the GRI Database, 21% report at Application Level A, 24% at Level B, 16% at Level C and 9% at an undeclared level. 27% use Sector Supplements. If an organization decides that six-Management Approach Aspects is materials to its business, G4 requires disclosure only on those aspects. If environmental effects are not material, then, theoretically, a company can produce an in-accordance Sustainability Report without disclosing any facet of its environmental impacts.
In response to this, the GRI says that materiality depends upon stakeholders, and if stakeholders do not think this is important, then this is ok. In practice, it is unlikely that any large company shall not need environmental aspects within its materiality radar. But materialism is a relative thing. Just how many material aspects are most important in any business?
As we have observed in the vast range of materiality matrixes that are published in current reviews. An organization has anything between 8 and 65 most material issues typically, with 27 issues being the tough average. The G4 Framework proposes that all organization should decide for itself, after crediting stakeholder consultation, what’s materials and therefore which Indicators it will report on. Clearly, this presupposes that organizations are able to take part in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and reflect their input into the collection of Material Aspects, something I believe does not happen widely today.