UN Global Compact and Global Reporting Initiative partner for new areas of cooperation
27 May 2013

​The UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) today announced the renewal of their Memorandum of Understanding, signed in Amsterdam at the biggest global conference on sustainability and reporting, convening 1600 attendees from over 80 countries. This happened at the historic launch of G4, the fourth generation of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Since their foundation, the world’s two largest corporate responsibility initiatives have aimed to improve sustainability management, performance and transparency of organizations around the world. The mutual support between GRI and the UN Global Compact has led to the incorporation of the Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption into GRI’s sustainability reporting guidelines. The final result is full alignment of G4 with the Global Compact principles.

“The UN Global Compact welcomes G4 and our renewed partnership with GRI, as we recognize that strategic engagement triggered by universal principles and reporting go hand in hand,” said UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell. “As a valuable option for Global Compact participants to report on their progress, G4 provides clear linkages with our ten principles that will help any company preparing a Global Compact Communication on Progress (COP) to align its reporting with the GRI Guidelines.”

This alignment in guidance on sustainability performance and reporting will provide companies with a clear, strategic and practical roadmap. Any company that wants to report on implementation of the Global Compact principles can do so through the use of G4.

While the renewed agreement affirms a long-standing collaboration and strong alliance between the two global organizations, it also marks the beginning of a number of innovative collaborations, in particular on the post-2015 UN development agenda. As the target date for the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, discussions on new global development priorities and the pivotal role for business are gaining momentum. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has assigned the Global Compact to contribute to the post-2015 development process by consulting with its network of over 7000 businesses to help define the role of the business community. The UN Global Compact  Leaders Summit, to be held 19-20 September 2013, will unveil an implementation architecture for business to contribute to these global priorities. This architecture will address the importance of corporate transparency and accountability, and link to the role of corporate sustainability reporting for which GRI provides the most widely-used guidance.

Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of GRI, said: “Both the UN Global Compact principles and the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines help business establish its role in sustainable development. Both frameworks are used by thousands of companies in industrialized and developing countries alike. These companies have found that reporting changes mind frames, that it supports dialogue, and that it helps build understanding and trust between business and communities. The reporting practice built by these thousands of companies is a hugely valuable resource, to be leveraged to measuring sustainable development performance, to scale up the contribution business makes globally to sustainable development.”

The two organizations will work together to provide the increasing number of companies using GRI’s reporting guidelines and the Global Compact’s COP with clear guidance on how to link their sustainability disclosure to potential sustainable development goals.


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Stephen Rylance
Senior Manager, Press & Communications
Global Reporting Initiative
Email: rylance@globalreporting.org
Tel: +31 (0) 20 531 00 00 or M +31 (0) 6 303 995 31

Kristen Coco
UN Global Compact
+1 917-288-0787

Notes to Editors:

1. About The Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

GRI is an international not-for-profit organization, with a network-based structure. Its activity involves thousands of professionals and organizations from many sectors, constituencies and regions. www.globalreporting.org

2. About the United Nations Global Compact

Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With more than 7,000 corporate signatories in over 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. www.unglobalcompact.org