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Turkish organizations discover the benefits of sustainability reporting through GRI’s Business Transparency Program
06 July 2016

​Twelve SMEs in Turkey have successfully completed the GRI Business Transparency Program (BTP), which supported them through their first reporting cycle. The SMEs are all part of the supply chain of Arçelik, a household appliances manufacturer in Turkey, and some are already seeing the benefits of the program. 
​Since 2008, more than 400 small, medium, and large organizations and suppliers of MNCs have been successfully coached through the sustainability reporting process under the BTP. Looking ahead, GRI aims to support more organizations in overcoming the first hurdles to reporting.

“The Business Transparency Program is a huge opportunity for SMEs in developing countries,” explained Erdem Kolcuoğlu, Kıymet-i Harbiye Management Consultancy (GRI Certified Training Partner). “SMEs in Turkey usually lack financial, time, capacity and human resources to adopt new business skills such as sustainability management and reporting. This program not only brings know how and experience to their backyard but also breaks language barriers since it is conducted in the local language.”

Support through the first reporting cycle
GRI’s BTP works by introducing groups of companies to sustainability and transparency and supporting them in publishing their first reports. Companies attend a two-day GRI Certified Training Course, offered by one of GRI’s Certified Training Partners, and 4-5 coaching workshops over the course of reporting year where they focus on the theory and practice of each of the phases in the sustainability reporting process. Participating companies have the opportunity to address their individual challenges, receive feedback and state their progress through regular distance support. The process is completed when the published reports are included in GRI’s Sustainability Disclosure Database. Links to the reports are also published on GRI’s website to communicate the completion of the project. 

Benefits of the Business Transparency Program
The program helps groups of businesses achieve competitive advantage, enhance their reputation and stimulate innovation. One participant, Emre Üstündağ, Mefa Yalıtım commented, “Our intention to join the BTP project was to obtain a tool for monitoring and managing our social, environmental and economic risks. Through this project we strengthened our performance management systems.”

Being more transparent about future risks and impacts can have a positive effect on securing new business, as one participant of the program, Yasin Can – Baycan Elektri, highlights: “As a result of this project and the report which we published, we were approved to join a brand new global client’s supply chain, which usually takes years.”

This project was funded by Sida - the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the training and coaching support was offered by GRI’s Certified Training partner, Kıymeti Harbiye Yönetim Danışmanlık ve Ticaret Anonim Şirketi.

Find out how your organization can join GRI’s Business Transparency Program.