Annan hails launch of new global institution for reporting on corporate practices
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the launch of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a new institution that brings together a wide array of groups dedicated to reporting on the sustainability of economic and social practices by corporations.
"By offering guidelines that enable companies to report on their work to improve environmental and social conditions, the GRI has a unique contribution to make in fostering corporate transparency and accountability beyond financial matters," the Secretary-General said in a message delivered on his behalf by the Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, at the inauguration ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York.
Mr. Annan also described the GRI as an important complement to his Global Compact, which promotes corporate respect for international principles on the environment, human rights and labour rights. Aside from advancing those same principles, the GRI "provides a value-based platform for efforts to foster good corporate citizenship through learning, projects and dialogue," he added.
"Companies participating in both initiatives recognize that the GRI is a practical expression of the Compact, and that companies which report under the GRI fully meet the Compact's reporting requirements," the Secretary-General noted. "I hope that over time, all Global Compact companies will make use of the GRI and, conversely, that all GRI companies which do not yet support the Compact will do so soon."
The GRI was established in late 1997 to develop globally applicable guidelines for reporting on the economic, environmental, and social performance of corporations. Eventually any business, governmental, or non-governmental organization (NGO) was added to its membership.
Convened by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) in partnership with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the GRI incorporates the active participation of corporations, NGOs, accountancy organizations, business associations, and other stakeholders from around the world.