A Trade Union Guide to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines

In recent years many companies have been publishing “Social Responsibility” or
“Sustainability” reports. These reports are intended to provide the public with
information concerning the impact of the company on society and on the environment. “Social responsibility” or “sustainability” reporting has become a regular practice for major companies. These reports can take the form of elaborate glossy publications and usually they can also be found on the company’s website.

The push for this kind of reporting was accompanied by a demand that there be standards of reporting. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) was created to fulfil this demand. The Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are a set of principles on how to report as well as a framework on what to report. Today the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines have become the most widely used and recognised benchmark for this kind of non-financial reporting. Because more and more companies base their reports on the GRI Guidelines, understanding these guidelines is important for trade unionists who need to know about non-financial reporting. In this respect it should be noted that the GRI Guidelines have an influence on reports even when this influence is not acknowledged.

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A Trade Union Guide to the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines