Rob Katz

Sustainability Reports, SMEs, and the BoP

Who reads the thousands of sustainability reports that corporations release each year? And more importantly, what do they think of them? As of today, there is a better way to answer those important questions.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and its partners?including the World Resources Institute and its New Ventures project?have unveiled the GRI Readers’ Choice Awards. It’s a pioneering attempt to capture and share readers’ thoughts on the value of corporate sustainability reports, and get those that information to potential new readers. The GRI Readers’ Choice Awards will highlight the reports that are most helpful to communities, investors, customers, journalists and non-governmental organizations.? (World Resources Institute powers addition to an Award for the report with the overall highest score, there will be Awards issued based on the perspectives of key information user communities such as investors, civil society, employees, corporate governance and management, and media; and special reports for non-corporate, smaller enterprises, and non-OECD companies. “Developing the methodology behind the scoring system was a unique challenge for us and the other partners involved” said Jose Luis Blasco, Director, Advisory, Global Sustainability Services, at KPMG. “We had to ensure the system would be a fair representation of report readers’ perspectives, including GRI and non-GRI based reports.”

The World Resources Institute has partnered with the GRI Readers’ Choice Awards to highlight the inaugural sustainability reports of 11 sustainable small and medium sized enterprises – many of which serve unmet needs in BoP communities. Participating companies have been identified by WRI’s New Ventures project, and hail from Mexico, Brazil, India, Indonesia, and China. New Ventures supports sustainable enterprises by accelerating the transfer of capital to outstanding companies that incorporate social and environmental benefits. Sustainability reporting – using the internationally-recognized GRI methodology – helps measure the direct benefits these firms’ operations create.

The GRI Readers’ Choice Awards will be presented during ?The Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency’, which will be hosted by the City of Amsterdam, and is supported by the Netherlands Government, UNEP, and with the involvement of businesses, NGOs, labor, and investors active in GRI’s worldwide network. GRI’s second international conference will be held from 7 – 9 May 2008.

  • Have your say on sustainability reporting today
  • Visit New Ventures for information on its portfolio of environmentally sustainable small- and medium-sized enterprises.