We are halfway the GRI conference. The conference is more than perfectly organised with great speakers, wonderful App, veggie foods and WiFi support. To my surprize the issue of reporting outside the boundaries of ownership is not discussed yet.
It is a great leap forward for G4 to lay much so much attention on Materiality. That helps companies to create smaller reports, only discussing issues that really matter. Lets hope companies have the courage to really focus on the material topics.
Materiality clearly needs to be embedded into the company and sector context: Stakeholders need to be introduced to learn what issues concern the company, what projects they have in place to contribute as a better corporate citizen. This contextual introduction needs to steer stakeholders in the right direction, what from they can add topics or colour the issues raised.
So far so good
The greater focus on materiality proves to my opinion that GRI understands that reporting is rather difficult. Like Achim Steiner concluded in his excellent speech: Reporting on CSR is very difficult, it differs greatly from company to company. To get the message understood you do not only need to produce a clear and concise report, it also needs the reader to put effort to really grasp the issues from a company.
If you follow that approach, and I would suggest we do, you would not dream of reporting outside the boundaries of your ownership. Clearly understanding your own company is a difficult task. Understanding the issues active in your supply chain is of ten far too difficult. It is a good practise to put energy in improving your supply chain. However one should not think you can really report on practises outside the boundaries of your ownership.
This is my 5th blog in the series for GRI2013
- CSR Reporting is on the verge of change
- A good corporate citizen reports on tax avoidance practices
- Future of application levels is unsure
- Communication should bridge the gap to the ordinary world
- Reporting outside your ownership boundary
- G4 weighing Context versus Materiality
- Turkish leaders in CSR Reporting