GRI Sector Supplement Indicators Count Towards Application Level Declaration

Regardles if you like or dread GRI's Application Level declaration requirements, you will be interested to note that a portion of Performance Indicators in finalized Sector Supplements can now be counted towards B and C Level reporting.

In a previous blog entry entitled “New GRI Mining & Metals Supplement – No Help for Application Level Determination,” I noted that I had been corrected by GRI staff that Performance Indicators from Sector Supplements should NOT be counted when determining GRI Application Levels. However, I learned today that this is no longer the case.

For the sustainability reporting nerds amongst you, GRI’s FAQ section on Application Level declaration is useful reference. The NEW RULE detailed in Question 20 of the same FAQ highlights that, for GRI Application Level C, three out of the minimum ten Performance Indicators required can now be selected from the final version of the GRI Sector Supplements. Similarly, up to six Performance Indicators contained in finalized Sector Supplements can now be counted towards the minimum of 20 Indicators required for GRI B-level reporting. (NB: GRI has released Sector Supplements for Electric Utilities, Financial Services, Food Processing, Mining & Metals and NGO.)

Will this new rule change the rampant Application Level declaration avoidance practiced by reporters in countries like China, Japan, South Africa and the US (see also my recent blog entry)? More generally, do you feel that availability of Sector Supplements will help attract new reporters or perhaps unintentionally scare them off because of a perceived increase of complexity?

Mehrdad Nazari is a Senior CSR, GRI & ESIA Advisor at PRIZMA

6 Comments to GRI Sector Supplement Indicators Count Towards Application Level Declaration

  1. Henrik Weinestedt, Intern / Project Manager at Suzlon Foundation, Suzlon Energy Limited, India, left this note on LinkedIn:

    “This should be good reading for many smaller enterprises wanting to get into GRI reporting. Representing an organization just coming out with a C level report, where we report on 10 regular indicators and five NGO sector supplement indicators, I can easily say that for the sake of materiality, being able to use SS indicators is just great. We could probably have gone with even fewer indicators from a strict materiality standpoint, and we did not even consider 50% of the NGOSS indicators as material. Being able to use NGOSS indicators is, above all, a step in the right direction for increased materiality and less ‘fluff’

    With the ‘indicator race’ on in reporting on the standard 79 indicators, the practice of real and honest discussions on indicator materiality seems increasingly less common. I doubt that the G3 framework as it is currently designed will ever be able to do anything about this ‘inflation’; rather, us readers, consultants and stakeholders must be more honest to organizations reporting on too many indicators that are not really material.”

  2. Alex Nichols, Principal Consultant, Sustainability Management, at Two Tomorrows Europe, left this note on LinkedIn:

    “Thanks Merhdad
    GRI users need to remember that the AL is a measure of what’s in the report, not its quality. Material issues of relevance to the target readers is of primary importance. That’s why for some reporters a C might suffice perfectly.
    All the best
    Alex”

  3. Daniel Roberts, Director at RAAS Consulting, left this note on LInkedIn:

    “Mehrdad,
    Sector supplements are an important facet of making GRI more applicable to specific industries, and provide the opportunity for reporting companies to provide the information that is applicable to their industry and peers. I would not have expected it to evolve into an opportunity to reduce even further the amount of information required to produce a GRI compliant report – only as a means of identifying additional information to increase the relevance of the content.
    Cheers,
    Dan”

  4. Responding to Dan’s note, I left this message: Thanks for your comment, Dan. Given choice of more information on one hand, and more focused, relevant and material information on the other, I would choose the latter. I think Alex also makes a good point reminding us that Application Levels should not be equated with quality.

  5. […] PLEASE NOTE THAT GRI CHANGED ITS APPROACH – please read updated blog entry here.  […]

  6. […] GRI Sector Supplement Indicators Count Towards Application Level Declaration […]

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