Session Descriptions



 Masterclass for New Reporters – Back to Basics: Part I&II

Time: 9:15am – 12:15pm (break at 10:30am)

Is reporting new to you or your organization? Or perhaps it’s just time to revisit the core principles of sustainability reporting. Either way, this ‘master class’ style session will examine the core principles of GRI Reporting: Sustainability Context, Materiality, Stakeholder Inclusiveness, and Completeness. This session will include case study examples, tools and techniques for how application of these principles reinforces the base for a high-quality sustainability report.

  • Cora Lee Mooney – BrownFlynn, an ERM Group Company
  • Sarah Corrigan – BrownFlynn, an ERM Group Company
  • Jamie Jones Ezefili – Northern Trust


 Workshop – Catching up on the new Water & Effluents Standard

Time: 9:15am – 10:30am

The GRI Standard 303 was updated in June 2018, expanding the topic to Water and Effluents. The revised standard places emphasis on assessing water resource impacts across the whole product supply chain and how companies are better stewards of water resources. Marking the first major revision of water reporting content since 2006, the 2018 revision helps companies to collect information on water use from withdrawal to consumption and discharge, and to report on associated impacts on people and ecosystems, including at a local level. This session will review the updates to GRI 303 and include ways to help transition your organization to more accurate water reporting.

  • Laura Espinach – GRI
  • Mia d'Adhemar – GRI
  • Jaclyn Allen – Guess Inc.


 Workshop ​– Improving Management Approach Disclosures

Time: 9:15am – 10:30am

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. 

  • Katja Kriege – GRI
  • Blair Bateson – Ceres


 Workshop – Supply Chain Focus: Forced Labor Risks & Reporting

Time: 11:00am – 12:15pm

Expectations for transparency in company supply chains continue to rise. The urgency of the topic of forced labor/modern slavery, has seen regulators move into requiring reporting on the topic of modern slavery, such as the California Transparency Act and both the UK and Australian Modern Slavery Acts. Companies especially vulnerable are large multi-nationals with complex supply chains with indirect suppliers. Learn in this session more about this issue, the nuances of regulatory requirements and ways that companies are overcoming traceability and disclosure challenges.

  • Katja Kriege – GRI
  • Kate Dunbar Assent Compliance


 Workshop – Investor Focused Reporting

Time: 11:00am – 12:15pm

This session will examine the diversity of “investor” stakeholders. What tools are available to make sure information is available, useful and timely? Are stakeholders ready for integrated thinking? New expectations and tools are available to help focus which areas of your sustainability disclosures are of the greatest interest to the investor community.


  • Laura Nelson – Antea Group
  • Bob Laux – IIRC
  • Sonal Dalal – SASB


 Lunch Plenary – Keynote: Supply Chain Engagement and Reporting

Time: 12:50pm – 1:30pm (portion of lunch)

Supply chain engagement is growing in importance: stakeholders increasingly hold organizations accountable for impacts that occur outside of their immediate control. North America-based companies also face a quickly changing reality when it comes to federal tariffs and the potential changes to trade agreements, as well as increasing regulation on due diligence and human rights topics such as modern slavery. The increased pressure towards supply chain disclosure means companies are rethinking sourcing countries for their products and materials, which has consequences for the companies and the global network of small and medium sized organizations that supply them. In the Summit Plenary Session we examine the ‘new normal’ expectations in supply chain transparency and how disclosure can help lower risks and open opportunities throughout the supply chain. 

  • Daniel Vargas – GRI Country Desk Peru
  • Pierre-Francois Thaler – EcoVadis
  • Maria Sepulveda – Flex
  • Moderator: Dave Armon – 3BL Media


 Masterclass for Experienced Reporters ​– Communications: Part I&II

Time: 1:45pm – 4:45pm (break at 3pm)

As stakeholders become more data savvy, the idea of a 150-page sustainability report as the company’s sole communication vehicle feels clunky and outdated. But what is the best way to determine what information your stakeholders want to know and how they want to receive it? The level of depth and context? And how to get the data out in a timely manner? This session will examine these challenges and more. Learn how to develop compelling sustainability communications that fit the needs of your audiences. Knowing how best to cater to these groups’ needs will help to most efficiently convey your messages and data.  

  • Tim Woodall – Addison
  • Judy Sandford – Addison
  • Toby Heaps – Corporate Knights Inc.
  • Tamara Chernomordik – Prologis
  • Jeannie Renné-Malone – Prologis


 Workshop – Maximizing Use of Assurance

Time: 1:45pm – 3pm

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 investing in external assurance? Join us as we talk all things assurance.

  • Stewart Rassier – Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
  • Sharon Basel – General Motors


 Workshop – SDG Reporting

Time: 1:45pm – 3pm

While some companies – and a few sectors – have taken the step of mapping the SDGs against their existing activities, few have made the leap from to goal setting and strategically using the SDGs to innovate, grow and demonstrate progress. 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.

  • Alyson Genovese – GRI Regional Hub USA & Canada
  • Fiona Ortiz – Walgreens Boots Alliance
  • Laura Palmeiro – UN Global Compact


 Workshop – Get Updated on the new OH&S Standard

Time: 3:30pm – 4:45pm

GRI’s updated Standard on Occupational Health & Safety (GRI 403) is intended to increase the quality and comparability of workers’ healthand safety by allowing organizations to better focus on the presence of robust management systems, and the processes and programs that prevent harm and promote worker health. A fuller spectrum of workers is also now included, which has implications for data gathering and reliability. This session will walk participants through the updated standard, offer insight into how it will be implemented and show how GRI 403 aligns with key international instruments like ILO and ISO 45001.

  • Laura Espinach – GRI
  • Kathy Seabrook – CSHS


 Workshop ​– Sorting out the Raters and Rankers

Time: 3:30pm – 4:45pm

If you ever want to get a conversation started among sustainability professionals, ask their opinions on ESG/SRI raters and rankers. The rise of such organizations continues to grow, with some companies receiving upwards of 400 requests for response, each with their own ‘special sauce’ of subjectivity and selectiveness of issues. Attend this session to learn how analysts and other stakeholders use ratings and rankers to inform decision-making; additionally, this session will help you learn how to prioritize your organization’s investment of time and attention to this stakeholder group.

  • Alison Dimond Kardos – Buzzword Inc.
  • Eric Fernald – Sustainalytics
  • Kristina Kloberdanz – Mastercard