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Learning and networking symposium for sustainability professionals

Nearly 200 sustainability reporting individuals gathered at the second annual GRI Reporters’ Summit, on 5 February at Arizona State University’s law school. Created as a user meeting for companies using the GRI Standards, the event served as a forum to update North American based companies about new developments in the GRI Standards, provide tools and resources that professionals can use to maximize value of the GRI Standards, and offer an opportunity for peers to connect, network and learn in an inclusive setting.
As Alyson Genovese, head of the Regional Hub USA-Canada points out, “Although many GRI-reporting companies have thousands of employees, often responsibility for managing the reporting process falls to two or three of them. It can be isolating and difficult to get the professional development needed to perform their jobs most effectively”. And this benefits everyone, she said, “By connecting them with each other via an event designed specifically for them, GRI hopes to help them develop better reporting and – ultimately – more transparency and decision-useful information.”
Sessions were designed for both new and experienced reporters and included topics such as Transitioning from G4 to the GRI Standards, Effective Management Approach Disclosures, Maximizing Value from Stakeholder Engagement, and Sustainability Communications: Getting the Right Messages to the Right People. The plenary session focused on sustainability reporting as a profession “Sustainability reporting management jobs, which literally did not exist 15-20 years ago, are today quite common and sought after positions. We wanted to examine the skills that are necessary to succeed in those roles and what lay next in the career path for such individuals,” stated Eric Hespenheide, Chairman of GRI’s Board of Directors.
Special thanks to EcoVadis and BrownFlynn as presenting sponsors and ASU as host of the Summit. They, along with sponsors Antea Group, ERM, Teck and Northern Trust, provided the support necessary to deliver this learning tool to the North American reporting community.
Here's what some attendees had to say about the event:
“I thought the Summit was fantastic and a great investment to attend. I will be back next year and encourage my organization to send more members.”

“You hit the nail on the head with engaging topics and speakers.”

“Very informative and great class choices. Speakers were very informative and well versed.”

“We are still in the formative stages of our organization's sustainability initiative and the break-out sessions, especially, were very educational and have inspired us to do a few things we hadn't thought of before.”
Plans are already underway for the 2019 GRI Summit – so watch this space for further details.

This event is made possible with support from:




Take a look at some photos from the successful 2018 Summit, held at Arizona State University's law school: