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The GRI Reporters' Summit: North America will bring together sustainability reporting professionals to learn best practices and discover solutions to common reporting challenges. Here you can find out more about this event and view the agenda.

 Why Attend?

​GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards and previous G4 Guidelines are the most widely used and trusted sustainability reporting standards in the world. According to 2017 research by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 85% of reporters studied were using GRI to report. The USA in particular is one of GRI’s top reporting sectors, with an ever growing group of CSR professionals that focus on reporting and disclosure. 

Even in large corporations however, it can be difficult to secure ongoing support and development for reporting because the skillset is so unique. We hear every day from professionals who want to connect with others and gain practical solutions to challenges in strategy, information gathering, reporting and communications.

The GRI Reporters’ Summit is designed to provide this platform. The event is specifically for professionals who direct and manage the sustainability reporting function within their organizations. As a participant you will return to your organization with specific tools, case studies and practical solutions, helping you be a more effective steward of your organization’s sustainability management and reporting journey.

​Time ​Program
​8:00am-8:30am ​Registration / Breakfast
​8:30am-9:30am Opening Plenary
​9:30am-10:00am ​Morning Break 
​10:00am-11:15am ​Workshop Sessions I
  • Best Practices for First Time Reporters - Facilitator: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship; Case Study: Northern Trust
  • Transitioning from G4 to the GRI Standards - Facilitator: GRI; Case Study: Prologis
  • Effective Management Approach Disclosures - Facilitator: Stakeholder Research Associates; Case Study: UPS
​Refreshment Break
​11:30am-12:45pm ​Workshop Sessions II
  • Making your Materiality Assessment Work Harder - Facilitator: ISOS Group, Case Study: World Bank
  • Harmonizing GRI with Other Reporting Frameworks - Facilitator: BrownFlynn; Case Study: Edwards Life Sciences LLC
  • Reporting without a GRI Standard - Facilitator: The Works Design; Co-Convener: GRI; Case Study: Pearson
​12:45pm-1:45pm ​Networking Lunch
​1:45pm-3:00pm ​Workshop Sessions III
  • Maximizing Value from Stakeholder Engagement - Facilitator: BSR; Case Study: NRG Energy
  • Managing Data from within your Supply Chain - Facilitator: EcoVadis; Co-Convener: GRI
  • Sustainability Reporting and the Growing Regulatory Environment - Facilitators: KERAMIDA & Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Case Study: State of Delaware
​3:00pm-3:30pm  ​Networking Break
​3:30pm-4:45pm ​Workshop Sessions IV
  • Sustainability Communications: Getting the Right Messages to the Right People - Facilitator: Addison; Case Study: Intel Corporation
  • From Mapping to Action: SDGs as a Framework for Delivering Transformative Change - Facilitator: ERM; Co-Convener: UNGC
  • Assurance: What it Means and What to Do - Facilitator: Antea Group; Case Studies: Fina Sustainability B.V & Lockheed Martin
​4:45pm-6:00pm ​Cocktail Reception

GRI Reporters' Summit Opening Plenary
The sustainability professional 20 years on: What’s next?

GRI, pioneer of the practice of sustainability reporting, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. That means that in the short span of two decades, sustainability reporting has developed from a niche practice, into one now done at the majority of the world’s large businesses. Now, corporate sustainability positions are highly sought-after and exist both inside a corporation and within a variety of allied services, such as strategy consulting, finance, operations and communications. But to continue doing their jobs well in any of these contexts, sustainability professionals need to be masters of an extensive and continuously expanding set of skills. So what are the essential things you need to know to stay on top of your game? What are the next stages in the development of the profession? And what are the best ways to help drive sustainability considerations into the heart of your organization, where it can really make a difference?      

Moderator – Eric Hespenheide, Chairman of Board of Directors, GRI

  • Barb Brown, Principal & Co-Founder, BrownFlynn
  • Katie Fedosenko, Senior Specialist, Teck Resources 
  • Pierre-Francois Thaler, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, EcoVadis 



The Summit will feature a variety of workshops, providing you with expert reporting guidance on the following hot topics:

Sustainability Communications: Getting the Right Messages to the Right People
Learn how to develop compelling sustainability communications that fit the needs of your audiences. Stakeholder groups have different expectations for the level of detail, and knowing how best to cater to these groups will help to most efficiently convey your messages and data.  

Presenters: Tim Woodall, Strategist, Addison; Suzanne Fallender, Director, Corporate Responsibility, Intel Corporation; Sue Allchurch, Chief of Participant Relations and Communications, United Nations Global Compact

Best Practices for First Time Reporters 
If your organization is new to sustainability reporting, or if you have recently joined the sustainability team, this is the session for you. This workshop will cover the elementals of sustainability reporting – quick history and review of current tools. We’ll then dive into the GRI Standards to examine how they are laid out, what the sections mean and how to use them. This session will ensure you have the context and resources available to effectively join the sustainability reporting community.

Presenters: Stewart Rassier, Director, Executive Education and Advisory Products, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship; Jamie Ezefili, VP and Senior Project Manager, Northern Trust

Harmonizing GRI with Other Reporting Frameworks
The GRI Standards are designed to work with complementary frameworks such as CDP, SASB and IIRC. We all love using acronyms, but what does “harmonizing frameworks” mean in practice? Learn more about other major tools and how they may help with improvement of data quality and comparability for your material topics and unique stakeholder groups.

Presenters: Cora Lee Mooney, Director, BrownFlynn; Sarah Corrigan, Senior Consultant, Brown Flynn; and Diane W. Biagianti, Vice President, Chief Responsibility Officer, Edwards Lifesciences LLC.

Maximizing Value from Stakeholder Engagement
Companies are facing an increasingly uncertain external environment, where the media, government, civil society, and the general public are expressing concern about a wide range of social, economic, and environmental topics. From a reporting perspective, this necessitates stakeholder engagement approaches that are responsive, interactive, and that inform report content.

During this session, participants will discuss changes in the dynamics of the stakeholder landscape, ways to identify the right stakeholders with whom to engage, and how to meaningfully use stakeholder feedback to improve report content and quality.

Presenters: Dunstan Allison-Hope, Managing Director, BSR; Laurel Peacock, Senior Manager, Sustainability, NRG Energy

Managing Data from within Your Supply Chain
Research shows that most of a company’s impacts occur outside of the direct organization and within its supply chain. But engaging with your supply chain to understand, track and mitigate impacts can be difficult. This workshop will explore the supply chain engagement process and discuss how to use tools such as supply chain mapping. Additionally, participants will consider who to bring to the table in the engagement process, what resources are required to ensure success, and how to establish realistic and trackable metrics. 

Presenters: Daniel Perry, Senior Account Executive, EcoVadis and Yuan Yuan, Head of Regional Hub: China and SE Asia, GRI

From mapping to action: SDGs as a framework for delivering transformative change
Many companies and a few sectors have taken the first step to mapping the SDGs against their existing activities. Making the leap from mapping  to strategically using the SDGs to innovate, grow and demonstrate progress has proven  a bit more challenging. No one company or sector working alone can deliver the transformative action needed to address the sustainability challenges in the 2030 Framework. In this session, we will share experiences and examples of company and sector initiatives to drive ambitious action for change.

Presenters: Jennifer Eastes, Principal Consultant, ERM and Linda Edgdell, Global Sustainability Director, ERM

Transitioning from G4 to the GRI Standards
One year ago, GRI evolved its G4 Framework into a set of interrelated, modular standards known as the GRI Standards. During this session, which will be led by a member of GRI’s Standards Division, you will learn why this transition will benefit you and understand what tools are available to assist in the migration. What has changed and what has remained intact from G4? What have we learned from Standards Pioneers? How will transitioning to the GRI Standards affect your organization?

Presenters: GRI Standards Division and Jeannie Renné-Malone, VP Sustainability, Prologis 


Reporting without a GRI Standard
The Materiality Principle states that an organization must report on a material topic even if an existing Standard is not available. The GRI Standards will never be exhaustive, so how do companies disclose impacts on an issue in the absence of a specific standard? Additionally, you'll learn how new GRI Standards are determined and developed for future use. 

Presenters: Wesley Gee, Director of Sustainability, The Works Design; Juliette Gaussem, Guidance & Practice Senior Manager, GRI; Bianca Wilson Tamagnini, Manager of Sustainability, Pearson

Making your Materiality Assessment Work Harder
A robust materiality assessment is the backbone of a company understands its impacts on environmental, social and economic issues. The assessment helps determine report content, but also informs how companies can best prioritize projects, manage risks and engage with stakeholders. Studies show, however, that companies are not maximizing value of this process. This session will focus on what happens after your materiality assessment is complete – how do you use it to drive value and transparency?

Presenter: Nancy Mancilla, CEO and Co-Founder, ISOS Group

Effective Management Approach Disclosures
Learn to harness the power of management approach disclosures to engage your readers, amplify your credibility, and stand out from other reports by applying this oft-overlooked or underreported disclosure in your next report. This workshop will focus on how to help you move your next report from good to great by mastering the GRI management approach disclosures. 

Presenters: Katharine Partridge, President and Managing Partner, Stakeholder Research Associates; Crystal Lassiter, Senior Director, Global Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, UPS

Sustainability Reporting and the Growing Regulatory Environment
Although the US political climate nationally is leaning towards removal of some ESG-focused regulations, in areas throughout the world companies are seeing an increase of regulations on non-financial reporting and sustainability disclosures. How do foreign regulations affect your North American based organization? And perhaps most interestingly is the growth of voluntary and mandatory reporting regulations at the state level, including new legislation in California and Delaware. This session will teach companies how to anticipate and understand what potential regulations mean for their organization and how your organization can find benefits from disclosure in a complex global economy. 

Presenters: Pamela Cooper Griesemer, Vice President of Operations, Sustainability Services, KERAMIDA Inc and Cara M. Johnson, Attorney, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP; Melanie George Smith, Politician and a Democratic member of the Delaware House of Representatives

Assurance: What it Means and What to Do
Approximately half of all sustainability reports issued in North America contain some level of externally-assured data. Interest is growing but there remains lots of confusion. What does having an assured report mean? What is the value of external assurance? How should companies estimate time and costs? And how can the company maximize benefits of the learnings that come with having your report assured? These and other questions will be considered as we talk all things assurance.

Presenters: Lex de Bruijn, Managing Director, FIRA Sustainability B.V. and Laura Nelson, Consultant, Antea Group