‘Undeclared’ GRI reporting on decline but still over 30% in USA

Questions about the value/risk of declaring a GRI Application Level remain on the minds of many GRI G3 reporters. Globally, ‘Undeclared’ Application Levels appear to be declining (18% in 2011). However, 31% US reporters remain silent about their GRI Application Levels.

As readers of my blog will know, I am not a great fan of GRI’s Application Level Declaration (see also here and here). This topic leads to interesting (read challenging) discussions with inaugural sustainability/corporate responsibility reporters. In advance of a client meeting with an inaugural GRI reporter, I reviewed GRI’s latest statistics and updated my graphs which I would like to share with you.

There appears to be a declining trend of ‘Undeclared’ reporting (and I counted ‘blank’ entries in the relevant GRI column also as ‘undeclared’). About 1/3 of US reporters – including well-known brands – appear to prefer to remain silent about the Application Level of their sustainability reports.

How do you approach this topic? Where do you encounter the strongest resistance to declaring a GRI Application Level? 

 PS – You may also be interested in this blog post: Which US brands do not declare GRI Application Levels? 

PPS -Looking at the current numbers of 741 reports recorded by GRI for 2011 (by 26 Oct 2011), I have my doubts if we will see some of the high reporting estimates for 2011 (as high as 2,750) collected during a straw poll of CSR experts


About the author: Mehrdad Nazari (MBA, MSc, LEAD Fellow) is a Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability Reporting & ESIA Advisor, and Director of Prizma. He was previously an environmental consultant with Dames & Moore, Principal Environmental Specialist at the European Bank and CSR Research Director at CoreRatings. Mehrdad has co-delivered a dozen GRI-certified courses on GRI’s sustainability reporting framework and is also a Licensed AA1000 Assurance Provider. Access Prizma’s latest newsletters here.