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Second edition of GRI’s Reporters’ Summit a success
08 March 2018

​The Beus Center for Law & Society, in Phoenix, Arizona was conceived with openness and connectedness in mind. Part of its mission is to foster collaboration, which made it the perfect backdrop for the second edition of GRI’s Reporters’ Summit, on 5 February 2018.

​Under the banner “Practical solutions for best practice reporting”, close to 200 sustainability professionals from around North America had the opportunity to connect, network and learn in an inclusive setting. Sessions were designed for reporters at all levels of knowledge and allowed them to share experiences and begin preparations for the reporting season. 

Sustainability reporting in practice

Director of Financial Communications and CSR Reporting Fiona Ortiz and CSR Associate Manager Malorie Frederick attended the event on behalf of Walgreens Boots Alliance. While one of the company’s legacy businesses has GRI reporting experience, within the consolidated  group there are different levels of reporting knowledge, which makes the practice an interesting challenge. “The GRI Reporters’ Summit was packed with useful information and practical tips that we will be applying as we prepare the Walgreens Boots Alliance 2018 CSR Report”, said Ortiz.

 Beyond information, the Summit is designed to encourage better reporting, more transparency and to help reporters identify information that will help improve decision-making within companies. This is done in part by highlighting some of the challenges that reporters will face, and giving them tools to address those hurdles.

For example, what can a company do when its Materiality Assessment points to impacts in areas where no GRI Standard currently exists? According to the Materiality Principle, an organization must report on a material topic even if a GRI Standard is not available, but what does this look like in practice? The session on Reporting without a GRI Standard presented alternatives for doing so, and explained how GRI Standards are determined and developed. As Fiona Ortiz stated, “we now feel equipped to handle issues that emerge from our Materiality Assessment even if they don’t match an existing GRI Standard”.

Management approach disclosures can make information more dynamic, engaging and useful for the company and its stakeholders, but applying it is not always straightforward. The Effective management approach disclosures session provided clear tools for evaluating the disclosures, such as a tracking and scoring handout that companies can use to evaluate their own drafts. Throughout the day, reporters had the opportunity to discuss issues they had faced and find solutions together.


GRI’s Reporters’ Summit was made possible by presenting sponsors EcoVadis and BrownFlynn, and host Arizona State University (ASU). Other sponsors include Antea Group, ERM, Teck and Northern Trust.

 We hope to see you in 2019, for another opportunity to collaborate and learn among sustainability reporting peers.