This week we ran our first Understanding G4 Webinar. By we, I mean DōSustainability and the DōShorts Sustainable Business Collection who were kind enough to create Understanding G4: The Concise Guide to Next Generation Sustainability Reporting. CSR and Sustainability Managers, consultants, academics, NGOs and media. ONCE I am sleeping Even.
As usual after i am in webinar setting, I talked too much and didn’t reach answer all of the questions that were tabled by participants. So, what better place than to get this done than on the CSR Reporting Blog? Here are the questions as I received them from webinar moderator Gudrun Freese, DōSustainability’s co-founder and Communications Director. My answer: Enough time to go to G4 is currently. Sure, there is always a reputational point or two to be gained from demonstrating agility, openness, flexibility and adaptability to new guidelines and requirements, so “first mover” may give you an advantage for a short while. However, this is of far less value than getting the first G4 report right.
That doesn’t indicate perfect. The quality of your G4 statement will be described by the robustness of your materiality process how you indulge to determine what’s most material for your business as well as for your stakeholders. Once you have this clear enough (not yet determined perfect, but clear enough), you can work communicate G4 report. No need to wait. It’s not a competition or a competition to see who gets through the G4 goalposts first, but there is absolutely no real reason to delay transitioning to a better framework.
CORE and COMPREHENSIVE G4 options are similarly relevant and equally commendable options. Question: Elaine, Do you think that people have to add linkage dining tables to the sustainability reviews due to the lot of existing frameworks. What needs to be done? My answer: GRI has not prepared nice nice linkages content indexes such as existed for G3.
- Great Business Card Swap: Your business cards transposes with the spectators credit card
- Book: THE AMOUNT OF MONEY Map Method (a $19 value)
- 14-point is enough big enough for your name
- Extension of unemployment advantages to 99 weeks – almost two years
- Blazers/sport coats are always okay
The Book of Reporting principles will includes three dining tables which show the relationship between (1) UNGC ten concepts (2) OECD Guidelines for Multinational businesses and (3) UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In the G4 Manual, these dining tables show the key principles or chapters from these three frameworks and then a mention of a G4 Category and/or Aspect, which I personally don’t find terribly helpful.
In Understanding G4, I developed tables which show this the other way around, using the G4 as the beginning point and showing which Specific Standard Disclosures align with the UNGC and OECD concepts and chapters respectively. For use in a G4 statement, companies will have to create the desks themselves, unless GRI actually publishes a tool you can use.
There are no linkages to other frameworks, such as, for example, UNGC Advanced COP criteria, or LEAD requirements, CDP, or the UN CEO Water Mandate, or ISO 26000, or other sector frameworks such as they exist. Question: Must you answer/include sector product questions to be in accordance to CORE? My answer: It is advisable to consider sector supplements, although these exist for only a small number of areas at present. When choosing material issues, a company should also consider sector supplements (now called “Sector Disclosures”) and if a sector-specific concern is material, the relevant performance indicators should be used then. Question: How rigorously GRI does cross check / verify the reports?
My answer: For G4, up to now, zero rigorously. At this true point, GRI has not committed to carrying out an “Application Level Check” (ALC), which we know from our ABC times of G3, on new reviews which are “In Accordance” with G4. Time will tell if GRI can do this. If so, the RELATING check will have to be different and unequivocally more rigorous than the existing ALC somewhat, in my own view. All of the issues around false claims in GRI reports which prompted a weakened response from GRI previously this season would only undermine G4 if they resurface.
Either GRI will choose to remain on the sidelines and let stakeholders do the work, or they’ll decide on a full and reliable check which provides value to companies and stakeholders. Question: Where can we find the downloadable Book of Principles, please? My answer: All the G4 materials can be downloaded from the GRI website – click here for direct teleportation.