Governance to empower the GRI Standards

Published date: 17 November 2020

New appointments to the Global Sustainability Standards Board

Three appointments have been made to the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the independent body with sole responsibility for developing and issuing the GRI Standards.

The GSSB’s membership includes a wide range of expertise and international representation, which offer multi-stakeholder perspectives on sustainability reporting.

Joining the GSSB are:

  • Giulia Genuardi, Head of Sustainability Planning and Performance Management, Enel (Italy)
  • Joseph Martin, Environmental Specialist, Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia)
  • Kim Schumacher, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan)

In addition, Vincent Kong (Sustainability Manager, Sun Hung Kai Properties Group, Hong Kong, China), has been reappointed for a second term. Standing down will be Kirsten Margrethe Hovi (Vice President and Head of Extra-Financial Reporting, Norsk Hydro ASA, Norway) and Tung-Li (Tony) Mo (Deputy Secretary General, Taiwan Business Council for Sustainable Development).

Judy Kuszewski, Chair of the GSSB, said:

"The GSSB works exclusively in the public interest to deliver the world’s leading standards for organizations to understand and report their economic, environmental and social impacts, seeking to enable improved transparency that meets stakeholder needs for comparable and consistent information.

It is crucial that our governance has the right blend of knowledge and expertise, so all standard setting priorities and associated activities support these aims. I am delighted, therefore, to welcome three high caliber new additions to the GSSB, in Giulia, Joseph and Kim. My gratitude goes to Kirsten and Tony for their years of valuable input to the work of the GSSB.”

Giulia Genuardi said:

“Improving quality and reliability of companies’ performance becomes crucial to disclose its contributions to sustainable development as well as capture future megatrends and relevant innovative topics, which become material in the future. I look forward to working with the other GSSB members to advance sustainability reporting practices and support companies in the pursuit of a forward-looking and transparent disclosure.” 

Joseph Martin said:

"The GRI standards integrate overarching aspirations of humanity towards a sustainable future; into a transparent and impactful measurement framework, through a multi-stakeholder process. In my role as a GSSB member, I look forward to participating in this collaborative standard-setting process, leveraging insights on sustainable development gained through cross-sector experience in emerging economies, adhering to the principles of inclusivity."

Kim Schumacher added:

“As an interdisciplinary researcher who operates at the intersection of environmental science and business, I understand the crucial roles of science-based peer-review and independent verification methods in improving the reliability and consistency of corporate data. Hence, continuous scientific rigor is indispensable to reduce ‘greenwashing’ risks across the business and financial sectors, by improving corporate reporting and non-financial disclosure. Therefore, I am honored to contribute to the GRI’s global sustainability standard-setting efforts.” 

The GSSB Board has the following continuing members:

  • Judy Kuszewski (Chair), Chief Executive, Sancroft International (UK)
  • Robyn Leeson (Deputy Chair), Principal, STR Consulting (Australia)
  • Loredana Carta, Project Officer, International Trade Union Confederation (Belgium)
  • Peter Colley, National Research Director Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (Australia)
  • Evan Harvey, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Nasdaq (USA)
  • Jennifer Princing, Senior Sustainability Manager, Dow Chemical (USA)
  • Corli le Roux, Independent Specialist (South Africa)
  • Gustavo Sinner, Partner-Director, AG Sustentable (Argentina)
  • Kenton Swift, Professor of Accounting, University of Montana (USA)
  • Rama Krishnan Venkateswaran, Lead Financial Management Specialist, the World Bank (USA)
  • Michel Washer, Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Solvay (Belgium)

Giulia Genuardi and Kim Schumacher start their terms from January 2021. Joseph Martin’s appointment took effect in August 2020, following the passing of GSSB member Bruce Klafter.

The Global Sustainability Standards Board members are appointed by the Independent Appointments Committee, which ensures independence per the public interest. The GSSB carries out standard setting activities in line with a defined Due Process Protocol.

GSSB membership ensures multi-stakeholder perspectives through representation of five defined constituency groups: busines enterprise, investment institutions, labor organizations, mediating institutions, and civil society.