New GRI booklet gives SMEs a helping hand
07 May 2014
New GRI booklet gives SMEs a helping hand

According to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 90 percent of businesses worldwide and, on average, account for 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all countries and for 60 percent of their employment.

Reason enough to celebrate the recent publication of Ready to Report? Introducing Sustainability Reporting for SMEs, a booklet produced by GRI, and aimed at SMEs who are considering whether sustainability reporting is relevant for them. It provides a simple introduction to sustainability reporting (using the GRI G4 Guidelines) in order to help SMEs take the first small steps in their sustainability journey.

Improved productivity
The first part of the booklet looks at the internal and external benefits of sustainability reporting based on the experiences and testimonies of SMEs that GRI has engaged with in a number of projects since 2008. They say that the value of the reporting process was much greater than they had anticipated at the beginning of the process. In addition, they found that sustainability reporting helped them to identify their most significant issues to focus on and from there improve productivity and make cost savings. Their competitiveness often improved after gaining access to new markets and new clients. GRI’s experience is that many SMEs consider that there is a clear connection between sustainability reporting and achieving real change within their company.

The booklet further details easy steps for creating a GRI sustainability report using the five phase GRI model for a sustainability reporting process: Prepare, Connect, Define, Monitor and Report.

The publication of Ready to Report? Introducing Sustainability Reporting for SMEs has been made possible with financial support from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). It can be downloaded free of charge from GRI’s Resource Library.