D1: Standards for Disclosure
|CERES ROADMAP EXPECTATION|
|Companies will disclose all relevant sustainability information using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, as well as additional sector-relevant indicators.|
Trends in Sustainability Disclosure.
Dr. Nelmara Arbex, Deputy Chief Officer at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), discusses the changing landscape of sustainability disclosure - including the increased demand for sustainability performance data and real time information. Watch the video...
Check out Roadmap in Action for more examples of how companies are implementing the Ceres Roadmap.
Companies crafting financial filings have long relied upon a common standard, whether it be the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Shared standards and definitions facilitate performance comparisons and remove much of the confusion that comes with a large assortment of data. The same holds true for sustainability disclosure with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines considered to be the internationally accepted standard for sustainability reporting.
HOW ARE COMPANIES PERFORMING?
In The Road to 2020: Corporate Progress on The Ceres Roadmap For Sustainability, we evaluated 600 of the largest U.S. companies on their progress towards meeting the expectations laid forth in The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability using data compiled and analyzed by Sustainalytics.
Of the companies evaluated, 49 percent (293 companies) are publishing sustainability reports and 29 percent (176 companies) are using the GRI guidelines in the development of those reports, in some cases using one of the Sector Supplements. The GRI Sector Supplements provide additional guidance for the disclosure of specific issues relevant to a particular sector. Those companies included in Tier 1 and Tier 2 are publishing reports in accordance with the GRI guidelines, with the 23 companies in Tier 1 achieving a level “A” GRI report. According to the GRI, U.S. companies are lagging behind their European counterparts in GRI reporting; however, there is an upward trend. According to recent estimates, there was an increase of approximately 35 percent in GRI reporters in the U.S. from 2010 to 2011 alone.1