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G4 Online: Making reporting easier
07 November 2013
​G4 Online, a web-based tool to support organizations preparing sustainability reports using the latest generation of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, was launched today (7 November).
​The free-to-use website presents the content of the G4 Guidelines complete and in a dynamic and easy-to-navigate format, and is designed to support users directly involved in a G4-based reporting process.

G4 Online is aimed at users who have already familiarized themselves with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures of the G4 Guidelines. Reporters who have a basic understanding of the G4 reporting process can use G4 Online to:
 
​• Access instant definitions of key terms and concepts, as they prepare their report​
​• ​Access information referenced in the G4 text, such as references to other globally recognized sustainability reporting frameworks, via links to third party websites
​• ​Link to G4 content directly from their reports, web sites, blogs, forums or social network platforms
 
G4 Online allows users to view G4 content in a more convenient and integrated way. In their original PDF format, the G4 Guidelines are presented in two parts - the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures, and the Implementation Manual. In G4 Online, this content is combined for easy reference, with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures accompanied by explanatory text from the Implementation Manual.

The GRI Guidelines – the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world - enable all companies and organizations to report on their economic, environmental, social and governance performance. The fourth generation of the Guidelines, G4, was launched in May 2013 and has been revised and enhanced to reflect important current and future trends in sustainability reporting.

This includes an increased emphasis on the need for organizations to focus – both in the reporting process and the final report - on the process of identifying the material Aspects, those topics that are material to their business and their key stakeholders. This ‘materiality’ focus will make reports more relevant, more credible and more user-friendly, enabling organizations to better inform markets and society on sustainability matters and the organization’s understanding of its challenges.

Nelmara Arbex, GRI’s Chief Advisor on Innovation in Reporting, said: “G4 Online will make the experience of reporting easier. For report authors, it provides a more convenient way to navigate G4 content, with key terms and definitions just a click away. We are very curious to know users’ reactions to this first version of G4 Online.”

In the coming months GRI will gather user feedback and carry out consultations with experts, which will be used to inform further development of G4 Online.

Organizations that are planning to produce G4-based reports in the next reporting cycle, and plan to use G4 Online during the process until June 2014, can become part of the “Surfing on G4 Online” users group. Please communicate your interest by emailing g4online@globalreporting.org.