Which US brands do not declare GRI Application Levels?
The key sectors among US-based GRI reporters that do not declare their application levels are Energy Sector, Energy Utilities, Health Care Products and Food and Beverage Products. Examples include Abbott, Chevron and PepsiCo.
All organizations which follow GRI’s disciplined sustainability reporting framework deserve a big pat on their back. Having said that, it remains surprising to me that so many US-based GRI reporters are listed as ‘Undeclared’ in GRI’s database (>30% in US vs. 18% Global).
As most of you know, the GRI Application Level signifies to what extent GRI’s G3/G3.1 Guidelines have been used in a report. A declaration of Application Level highlights which set and how many disclosures have been covered in the report. However, contrary to often encountered perceptions, GRI Application Levels are not grades, do not provide an indication of the quality of a report, do not describe the sustainability performance of a reporter, do not signify compliance with GRI/G3 Guidelines and do not relate to an assurance process.
You may be surprised to find how many and which US brands are designated as ‘Undeclared’ in GRI's database. Looking at the 2010 data (2011 data is still very incomplete), the main sectors that did not declare their application levels in 2010 comprised the Energy Sector, Energy Utilities, Health Care Products, and Food and Beverage Products (see listing below). Why have these brands decided not to declare their GRI Application levels? Will this change in 2011? What would it take for these brands to declare their GRI Application Levels in the future?
Energy Sector (9): Chevron, ConEdison, Constellation Energy, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton [should probably not be classified under ‘Energy’], Marathon Oil, Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), and Sempra Energy
Energy Utility (7): Green Mountain Energy, Green Mountain Power, Nevada Energy, NextEra Energy, NV Energy, PG&E, Progress Energy, TECO Energy
Health Care Provider (6): Abbott, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Life Technologies, Millipore Corporation (see also my previous blog entry: Assurance and Stakeholder Panels – All the same to Millipore?), Becton Dickinson and Company, Catholic Healthcare West
Food and Beverage Products (4): Campbell Soup, Deanfoods, DR Pepper Snapple, PepsiCo
About the author: Mehrdad Nazari (MBA, MSc, LEAD Fellow) is a Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability Reporting & ESIA Advisor, and Director of