Established in 2008, the Governmental Advisory Group is a high-level advisory body that provides GRI’s Board and Executive Management with a direct source of advice from governments. It is an informal body with no constitutional role, thereby preserving GRI’s independence.
The Group enables GRI to better understand governments’ perspectives on their role in corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting; governments can benefit from more detailed knowledge of GRI’s work and achievements.
The Group also functions as a platform to exchange ideas and experiences between the members themselves; many governments are becoming more active in developing policies for sustainability reporting.
What is the Governmental Advisory Group's mandate?
The mandate is to provide informal high-level feedback and advice to GRI. In fulfilling this function, the Governmental Advisory Group may:
To ensure transparency, the GRI Board Chair and/or Chief Executive will provide briefings on the Governmental Advisory Group’s activities to governance bodies - the Board, Stakeholder Council, and Technical Advisory Committee - as required.
When do they meet?
Governmental Advisory Group meetings are held twice a year: meeting in the spring is hosted by the GRI Secretariat in Amsterdam and a second meeting in the fall is usually hosted by a member government.
This year we are celebrating the 20th meeting of the Government Advisory Group which testifies to the Group’s long-lasting commitment to corporate sustainability. To mark this important milestone, we are hosting the next in-person meeting in the Netherlands on November 1-2, 2018.
How is the Group composed?
The Group is comprised of individuals drawn from governmental organizations. To ensure breadth of perspective, where possible it includes representatives from ministries and agencies with a direct interest in sustainability, CSR issues, and sustainability reporting. These include organizations such as ministries of foreign affairs, labor affairs, economic affairs, and environment, and parliamentary bodies, the European Union and intergovernmental organizations.
GRI strives to recruit representatives from both OECD and non-OECD countries. The GRI Chief Executive and/or Deputy Chief Executive participate on an ex-officio basis. In addition, the Chair of the GRI Stakeholder Council attends Group meetings.
How is membership decided?
Membership is by invitation and is accepted on a voluntary basis. Members are invited to join the Group on the basis of their experience, track record of leadership, and ability to bring independent and innovative thinking to the table. Delegates can be invited to act as observers (with a potential to become full members) or guests (on an ad-hoc basis).
Arrangements are made to ensure that there is some continuity of membership between outgoing and incoming members. Unless otherwise stated, questions, comments and other input will not be taken to reflect official government positions.
Who are the current members?
The current members are delegates from: Austria, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and international governmental organizations, such as OECD and UNEP.
In the past, the Group has also also welcomed members and guest delegates from China and Australia.