The Conference Program

The 2013 Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting is a three-day event that included training sessions, workshops and networking time. A year-long process of community-building activities preceded the Conference, engaging business leaders and other stakeholders globally to develop a compelling agenda.

 The Conference Format

The Conference maximized interaction and networking between participants:
  • Plenary sessions featured inspiring and knowledgeable speakers who discussed key global and regional issues.
  • Breakout sessions involved expertly moderated debates on specific issues, and generated results to be fed back to the plenary session.
  • Regional presentations at lunchtimes showcased the sustainability and reporting situation in different countries and regions, covering regulatory developments and other current issues like integrated reporting in the following countries/ regions: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Hispanic Latin America, India, Japan, MENA, Republic of Korea, South Africa, Turkey and the USA.

Download the Conference program here, and learn more about the Conference sessions here.


 Wednesday 22 May 2013

The opening plenary defined the global context for the issues, challenges and opportunities faced by society, and explored the roles of different actors for driving change. The session reviewed the progress since GRI's 2010 Conference, and proposed future steps.

A subsequent plenary explored sustainability around the world, and celebrated the launch of the next generation of GRI’s Guidelines – G4. The G4 development process was explained, and diverse stakeholders gave their opinions on how the new Guidelines will contribute to the advancement of reporting.

 Thursday 23 May 2013


The second day began with a plenary briefing on G4. Parallel sessions in five tracks followed:

The trends in reporting track included panels on recent developments in the fields of sustainability reporting, such as:

  • The role of assurance
  • Sustainability data accessibility
  • Harmonization of sustainability frameworks
  • Integrated Reporting

The G4 track covered the profound change areas in the new generation of GRI’s Guidelines, including:

  • Defining material report content
  • Disclosure on management approach
  • Anti-corruption
  • Governance and remuneration
  • Supply chain

The policy track highlighted the perspectives of policy makers and report users, like governments, regulators, investors and stock exchanges. Topics included:

  • The impact of reporting on poverty and competitiveness
  • Policy shaping the future of reporting
  • Financial markets and sustainability reporting
  • Reporting for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The learning track focused on individuals relatively new to the field of sustainability reporting. The sessions featured a GRI speaker as well as reporters sharing their experiences. Topics included:

  • How to get started as a first time reporter
  • Reporting for Small and Medium Enterprises

The academic track gathered prominent researchers from around the world to discuss:

  • Public policy
  • Assurance

The day closed with a plenary session looking into the future of reporting.


 Friday 24 May 2013


The third day commenced with parallel sessions on the following:

  • Trends in reporting track: Global and local developments from the GRI Focal Point perspective
  • G4 track: Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Policy track: Sustainability reporting regulation today and tomorrow
  • Learning track: How to report on human rights
  • Academic track: Integrated reporting

The program continued with a debate on short-termism and the world economy. Finally, the closing plenary outlined a new mandate for GRI, reflecting on the key issues and messages arising at the Conference, and how to progress them. The last sessions sought to inspire all participants to further drive change to a more sustainable global economy.


 Additional Content


Exclusive Organizational Stakeholder (OS) Sessions
For GRI's core supporters - Organizational Stakeholders - there were exclusive content sessions on the morning of Wednesday 22 May and the afternoon of Friday 24 May. The sessions focused on G4 developments and best practice from peers. This is the perfect time to join the Organizational Stakeholder program - in addition to these exclusive sessions, OS also benefit from a special discount for Conference registration.

Master Classes
A number of Master Classes took place on the morning of Wednesday 22 May and the afternoon of Friday 24 May. These hands-on sessions focused on both advanced reporters and beginners, and cost €150 per session. The Master Classes were delivered by GRI Certified Training Partners and the Conference Communications Partner Edelman, and covered the following topics:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Sustainability goal setting
  • Driving change by linking sustainability strategy with reporting
  • Sustainability communications
  • Defining material report content
  • The GRI Taxonomy and how it can improve the sustainability reporting process

Sector Roundtables
The sector roundtables invovled informal discussions on the mornings of Thursday 23 May and Friday 24 May. Participants from particular sectors had the opportunity to meet and discuss specific issues for their field.