GRI’s Combined Report for 2014-2015 just released!
18 December 2015

​Today, we are publishing our combined report for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. This report is both a reflection on the year at GRI, and a guide for the future – an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the organization. ​It is not only a window to GRI and our work, it’s a strategic document for ourselves, our stakeholders, and our network, and demonstrates the true value of sustainably reporting. 
It will help us build a better organization to advance GRI’s mission of empowering decision makers everywhere, through our sustainability standards and multi-stakeholder network, to take action towards a more sustainable economy and world.

What’s new with this year’s report?
We sought external assurance for the first time this year for our combined report. Although we are not subject to any formal requirement to have our report externally assured, the GRI Board of Directors recommended to have this year’s report assured for additional credibility. External assurance provides us with the opportunity to check and improve our data gathering processes and systems and allows us to be more certain of the data provided in the report. Verified and potentially improved data quality further benefits the internal use of sustainability information for management purposes. 

One key difference with this year’s report compared to previous years, is the structure. We’ve categorized all our activities under our four strategic priorities to make it easier for readers to understand our work and main focus areas: Enabling Smart Policy; More Reporters Better Reporting; Moving Beyond Reports; and Innovation and Collaboration.

The year at a glance
We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year. We’re growing as an organization, with a 14.5% increase in staff members compared to the previous year. Our reach is expanding globally, with a 21% increase in Organizational Stakeholders (OS). These OS are at the heart of GRI’s global network, they are our core supporters. They put their name to GRI’s mission, contribute their expertise, promote GRI in their own networks, have an important governance role, and invest in GRI through annual financial contributions.

We’ve also seen a 19% increase in Certified Training Partners. These are organizations with which we partner to provide practical trainings on how to use the GRI G4 Guidelines and the five phases of the reporting process for sustainability reporting. GRI Training Partners are located all around the world and conduct GRI certified training courses which are customized for local markets.

Sharing knowledge and best practice is another important area for us, and over the past year we’ve published 18 different publications, ranging from linkage documents demonstrating the linkages between the GRI G4 Guidelines and CDP (Water and Climate Change), IRIS, and CASS-CSR 3.0. We worked closely with Oxfam Novib to publish a study that explored the role of data in a sustainable future; and we worked with Fundación ONCE to design a practical tool that helps organizations publicly communicate their commitment to respect and advance the rights of people with disabilities.

Our Sustainability Disclosure Database has grown significantly as more organizations are seeing the value of sustainability reporting. On 30 June 2015, there were 28% more GRI reports in the database than the year previously, taking the total number of GRI reports to 19,192. To provide further context on just how rapidly the sustainability movement is taking hold, since these figures were collected, the number has increased to 21,892 reports (a further 14% increase in less than 6 months). The total number of reports in the database (GRI and other reports) hit a milestone in November 2015 when it reached 30,000. A trend we expect to continue well into the next years.

Our social media channels have been buzzing, with an 18% increase in Facebook likes for the GRI Facebook page over the past year. We’ve gained over 5,000 new Twitter follows, and almost 3,000 new LinkedIn followers. Check out our social media channels if you haven’t yet done so to hear about the latest developments in sustainability reporting, and gain insights into the many high level events we attend throughout the year.

Adapting to a new era of sustainability
While the progress is extremely encouraging, the hard work continues. We’ve identified key topics for our future focus, which include human rights, climate risk and sustainable investment to build inclusive, stable and resilient global markets. In light of the momentous COP21 agreement earlier this week, we’ll also be working hard to ensure GRI Standards continue to provide the thousands of organizations worldwide with a standardized way to disclose their economic, environmental and social impacts and increase the quality of information available to stakeholders, thereby enabling greater accountability of organizations. We’re looking forward to reinforcing our role as a pioneer in the sustainability reporting landscape, working closely with organizations to innovate and harness technology to help us liberate the sustainability data which will ultimately power us towards a more sustainable world. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey.