The US and Canada are leading global economic powers. Uptake of sustainability reporting is rising sharply, partly due to the large number of multinational enterprises that want to demonstrate leadership and address calls for increased transparency.
There has been a clear need for a GRI representative in the US and Canada to drive the practice of sustainability reporting – and since its establishment in early 2010, GRI’s Focal Point USA & Canada has witnessed tremendous, and rapid, uptake of this practice by all kinds of entities – public and private companies, government, universities, and cities.
According to research, more than 75% of the top 100 companies in the United States report on their corporate responsibility performance. A study by Governance & Accountability Institute
shows that in 2010, 19% of the S&P 500 companies were disclosing sustainability information; in 2011, 53% of the S&P 500 companies were disclosing this data – and by 2013, 72% of the S&P 500 are reporting. There are three key drivers behind this statistic: ethical considerations, economic considerations, and innovation and learning.
According to GRI data
, the number of Canadian entities publishing a GRI report rose by over 70% between 2008 and 2012. Many US and Canadian organizations have been producing sustainability reports with GRI’s Guidelines since 1999. There are nearly 90 Organizational Stakeholders – core supporters – in the US and Canada.
Are you ready to lead the way towards a sustainable future?
The GRI Focal Point USA & Canada plays a crucial role in mainstreaming sustainability disclosure. It aims to boost the number of US and Canadian companies reporting on sustainability, improve the quality of those reports, increase US organizations’ input into developing new guidance for sustainability reporting, and help organizations focus on what matters, and where it matters, in their reporting practices.
The key objectives of the Focal Point USA & Canada are:
- Embed sustainability disclosure into core business strategy by engaging with new sectors and industries throughout the US and Canada
- Communicate the latest developments in sustainability reporting to stakeholder groups
- Increase local ownership of sustainability reporting and GRI’s Framework, and to integrate local insights into its continual development
As part of its regional expansion strategy, GRI entered into an agreement in October 2010 to establish a Focal Point in the United States. The Focal Point is supported by founding sponsors Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, KPMG LLP, and PwC U.S., and is now hosted by IFAC; having been formerly hosted by The Conference Board.
GRI Focal Point USA has set up a program for companies interested in providing ongoing support to the operations of the Focal Point, and that are interested in more engaged learning about the sustainability reporting landscape.
Current members of the Sector Leader Program
- Mosaic, Dell, Bloomberg, Suncor Energy and Curran & Connors
Board of Directors
GRI USA, as a 501 c 3 public charity, has an independent Board, the members of which are:
Mark Cohen, Vanderbilt University
Julie Gorte, PAX World
Sean Harrigan, Past Executive Director, States Council, Region 8
Peter Westra, Stichting Global Reporting Initiative
Heather White, New Standards
To support and ensure the success of the GRI Focal Point in the USA, a strategic multi-stakeholder Advisory Group has been set up around the Focal Point. Current members of the Advisory Group are:
- Mark Cohen, Vanderbilt University
- Curtis Ravenel, Bloomberg
- Kristen Sullivan, Deloitte LLP
- John Hickox, KPMG LLP
- Kathy Nieland, PwC U.S.
- Steve Starbuck, Ernst & Young LLP
- David Vidal, The Conference Board