With over 1200 participants from 77 countries, the third Amsterdam Global Conference on Sustainability and Transparency was a great success.
On the theme of ‘Rethink, Rebuild and Report: Towards a Sustainable Economy’, the timely goal of the Conference was to set a global agenda for building a sustainable economy over the next decade. Global leaders from governments, business, labor, civil society, accounting, specialty service providers and academia gave broad support for GRI’s two strategic propositions:
- By 2015, all large and medium-size companies in OECD countries and large emerging economies should be required to report on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and, if they do not do so, to explain why.
- By 2020, there should be a generally accepted and applied international standard which will effectively integrate financial and ESG reporting by all organizations.
The Executive Brief provides further explanation of the main conclusions and outcomes.
The Conference offered participants a wide choice of sessions on current issues and trends, ranging from the next generation of Reporting Guidelines through regulatory approaches to integrated reporting and stakeholder engagement. Specialized sessions featured reporting for SMEs, emerging economies and NGOs, analysis of sustainability reporting and XBRL, the forthcoming ISO 26000 guidance standard, digital tools and certified software, gender equality, and human rights.
For summaries of the main sessions, please click here
. For full length videos of the sessions, please click here
. For a selection of speaker presentations please click here
GRI convened over 200 speakers at the Conference including:
- Shri Bandyopadhyay, Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India
- Robert Eccles, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School
- Sonia Favaretto, Director Sustainability, BM&F BOVESPA
- Oliver Greenfield, Head of Sustainable Business and Economics, WWF UK
- Eric Hespenheide, AERS Global Leader of Climate Change and Sustainability, Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
- Mervyn E. King S.C., Chairman, GRI Board of Directors
- Barbara Kux, Member of the Managing Board, Head of Supply Chain Management and Chief Sustainability Officer, Siemens
- Christine Loh, CEO, Civic Exchange
- Robert Massie, Sustainability and Corporate Governance Expert
- Kevin McKinley, Deputy Secretary-General, ISO
- Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International
- • Pedro Ortún, Director Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, European Commission
- Curtis Ravenel, Advisory Board, Director of Sustainability, Bloomberg
- Pavan Sukdhev, Study Leader, TEEB and UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative
- Mathis Wackernagel, President, Global Footprint Network
The academic conference proved very popular, offering good opportunity for interaction between academics and practitioners. Sessions covered issues from assurance and NGO accountability to measuring performance for carbon disclosure. Established scholars and junior researchers from the fields of accounting, management, and finance displayed their state-of-the-art research in eye-catching presentations. For more information on the academic conference, please click here
GRI inaugurated the Readers’ Choice Awards in 2008, revealing the views and priorities of report readers. In 2010 a web-based platform, available in nine languages, hosted more than 2000 sustainability reports. The first nomination period resulted in a shortlist of 105 reports, which attracted over thirty thousand scores by thousands of readers from all over the world in the second nomination period.
The Awards - the GRI Readers’ Choice Award, the Engage Award, the Investor Award, the Value Chain Awards, the Civil Society award and the Most Effective Report Award - were dominated by organizations from emerging markets. For more information on the Readers’ Choice Awards, please click here
The Market Place showcased a diverse range of organizations, products, services and information, providing a lively networking point for participants between sessions. Drawing on inspiration from the host city, the Market Place invoked the feel of Amsterdam by incorporating such features as the ubiquitous café terraces, local art exhibitions, bicycles and, of course, an emphasis on sustainability. Five small and medium-sized enterprises that have made an innovative contribution to the sustainability field were given the opportunity, via a special competition, to present their services and exhibit products.
For more information on the Market Place, please click here
Special sessions saw nine national delegations - from Australia, India, China, Brazil, UAE, the Middle East, the Nordic countries, Turkey and Egypt – share insights into reporting trends in their region.
Sustainability reporting must be comparable between companies and sectors – but it is equally important for report data to reflect sustainability issues that apply more in some countries and regions than others. Delegates shared knowledge and experience around this increasingly important trend.