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May 27, 2014

GRI eyes enhanced role as formal standard setter

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has launched a consultation aimed at redesigning its internal governance structure in order to bring it closer to the model of a standard setter.

The GRI argued it has long been reputed as "de facto standard setter" in the field of sustainability reporting but "formal recognition" of this role is needed.

According to the GRI, its guidance in sustainability reporting is now adopted not only "by pioneers" but a by large number of companies around the world.

Therefore the GRI has launched a consultation that seeks feedback on how to transform its governance to become an independent standard setter which serves the public interest, while keeping its "multi-stakeholder" nature.

"Our stakeholders are the most important assets. They provide us with feedback and support. But we would like to make our position more transparent," a spokesperson for the GRI told The Accountant.

As such the public consultation focuses on several key points that should be present in the structure of a standard setter. For example, the separation between its activities as standard setting and other activities.

Among those key points, the GRI seek feedback on the creation of different bodies such as a sustainability reporting standards board, an oversight body and an independent committee for appointments.

"Our intention is position ourselves as a standard setter but we rely on other frameworks for reference. So there isn’t any competitive angle involved," the spokesperson said.

The deadline to comment on the consultation is 9 July, after which the board of directors will consider the feedback and establish the following steps.

Related linkThe Global Reporting Initiative: Consultation on governance changes

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