CSR Europe and GRI join forces to build on expertise in sustainability reporting
28 May 2013

​(Brussels, 28 May 2013) CSR Europe and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their collaboration over the next three years at ‘Is Europe at a turning point for corporate reporting?’, a joint event hosted by CSR Europe and Burson Marsteller.
​Against the backdrop of the recent EU Commission proposal on non-financial reporting, the event gathered members and partners to hear the voice of stakeholders from across the political spectrum.

Through the enhanced collaboration, CSR Europe and GRI seek to build a productive relationship to exchange information in support of enhanced sustainability management and transparency, delivering on the broader EU goals to build capacity. They will also explore the opportunity to host a European Center of Excellence that could accelerate the awareness and capacity building of companies, investors and governments on integrated performance and reporting.

In line with their mission to make sustainability reporting standard practice, the Memorandum of Understanding between CSR Europe and GRI shows how the present, future and complementary activities of coalitions and networks can work to help the EU and national governments develop an efficient and effective policy that can capitalize on frameworks, best-practice and benchmarks to improve reporting. Such collaboration between GRI and CSR Europe is critical to accelerating impact and alignment.

CSR Europe and GRI are in agreement that any future EU policy should be an effective means of supporting better leadership and management processes in the medium and long-term. At this potential turning point for corporate reporting, both organizations are actively looking forward to the outcome of discussions with European stakeholders for concrete proposals for consideration by the European Commission and the European Parliament to ultimately enable organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy.

Stefan Crets, Executive Director of CSR Europe said: ‘’This collaboration ensures that our practical experience, complementary work and positions can best support companies in a very practical way and also give input to the current policy developments on sustainability reporting with the aim of benefitting sustainability reporting as a means towards integrated performance and trust building.’’

Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of GRI, said: “CSR Europe and GRI represent the experience and insights of thousands of companies across Europe that are already reporting on their sustainability performance. The partnership between GRI and CSR Europe will help leverage their expertise, while drawing on the cumulative learning embedded in the GRI Guidelines, so that our two organizations can work with the EU institutions to promote a culture of transparency and accountability across the region."

Highlighting the risks and opportunities as well as the capacity of companies to comply with future EU legislation for enterprises, the event went some way to broadly enhance the understanding of what stakeholders are doing to support companies with regards to disclosure of non-financial information.

-Ends-

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Kelly
CSR Communications Manager
Tel: 0032 2 541 1623
Email: mk@csreurope.org

Stephen Rylance
Senior Manager, Press & Communications
Global Reporting Initiative
Tel: +31 (0) 20 531 00 00 or M +31 (0) 6 303 995 31
Email: rylance@globalreporting.org

Notes to Editors:

1. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

GRI is an international not-for-profit organization, with a network-based structure. Its activity involves thousands of professionals and organizations from many sectors, constituencies and regions. www.globalreporting.org

2. CSR Europe is the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility. Representing over 5000 companies, it is a platform for supporting companies from different industrial sectors to positively contribute to society.

CSR Europe connects companies to share best practice on CSR, innovate new projects between business and stakeholders, and shape the business and political agenda on sustainability and competitiveness. CSR Europe addresses societal challenges through the Enterprise 2020 Initiative, which fosters collaboration, innovative practical action and shapes the business contribution to the European Union’s Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. For more information visit www.csreurope.org