Sustainability Reporting Guidelines
© 2000-2006 GRI
Sustainable Development and theTransparency Imperative
The goal o sustainable development is to “meet theneeds o the present without compromising the abilityo uture generations to meet their own needs.”
Askey orces in society, organizations o all kinds have animportant role to play in achieving this goal.Yet in this era o unprecedented economic growth,achieving this goal can seem more o an aspiration thana reality. As economies globalize, new opportunitiesto generate prosperity and quality o lie are arisingthough trade, knowledge-sharing, and access totechnology. However, these opportunities are not alwaysavailable or an ever-increasing human population,and are accompanied by new risks to the stability o the environment. Statistics demonstrating positiveimprovements in the lives o many people around theworld are counter-balanced by alarming inormationabout the state o the environment and the continuingburden o poverty and hunger on millions o people. This contrast creates one o the most pressing dilemmasor the 21st century.One o the key challenges o sustainable developmentis that it demands new and innovative choices and wayso thinking. While developments in knowledge andtechnology are contributing to economic development,they also have the potential to help resolve the risksand threats to the sustainability o our social relations,environment, and economies. New knowledge andinnovations in technology, management, and publicpolicy are challenging organizations to make newchoices in the way their operations, products, services,and activities impact the earth, people, and economies. The urgency and magnitude o the risks and threatsto our collective sustainability, alongside increasingchoice and opportunities, will make transparencyabout economic, environmental, and social impactsa undamental component in eective stakeholderrelations, investment decisions, and other marketrelations. To support this expectation, and tocommunicate clearly and openly about sustainability,a globally shared ramework o concepts, consistentlanguage, and metrics is required. It is the GlobalReporting Initiative’s (GRI) mission to ull this needby providing a trusted and credible ramework or sustainability reporting that can be used byorganizations o any size, sector, or location. Transparency about the sustainability o organizationalactivities is o interest to a diverse range o stakeholders,including business, labor, non-governmentalorganizations, investors, accountancy, and others. Thisis why GRI has relied on the collaboration o a largenetwork o experts rom all o these stakeholder groupsin consensus-seeking consultations. These consultations,together with practical experience, have continuouslyimproved the Reporting Framework since GRI’s oundingin 1997. This multi-stakeholder approach to learninghas given the Reporting Framework the widespreadcredibility it enjoys with a range o stakeholder groups.
World Commission on Environment and Development. OurCommon Future. Oxord: Oxord University Press, 1987, p.43.