Renewal of standard-setting governance

Published date: 20 April 2023

New members for two bodies central to the implementation of the GRI Standards

GRI has confirmed a series of new appointments that will underpin the continued effective governance of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards.

As announced in March, Carol Adams is the new Chair of the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the independent body responsible for setting the GRI Standards. The following individuals have joined the GSSB:

    • Jeff Robertson, (Director, Environment & Sustainability, Bimbo Canada) – appointed as Vice Chair
    • Chulendra De Silva (Founding Partner and Owner, InterBalance Consulting) – Sri Lanka
    • Deborah Ng (Head of ESG and Sustainability, GMO LLC) - USA
    • Galya Tsonkova (Corporate Sustainability Policy and Reporting Manager, Coca-Cola HBC AG) ­- Bulgaria

The Due Process Oversight Committee (DPOC) – which ensures standard-setting activities are conducted in accordance with the defined due process, increasing stakeholder confidence and in the public interest – sees one reappointment and one new member:

    • Caroline Wakesho Sonje (self-employed, currently consulting with the UNEP Finance Initiative) - Kenya
    • Jeremy Nicholls (self-employed, currently consulting with UNDP) - UK

I’m excited and honored to take on this role with the Global Sustainability Standards Board. Sustainability reporting is at an important juncture as impact reporting and sustainability-related financially-material reporting evolves and matures. Alignment between GRI and the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), with clarity for reporters, investors and other stakeholders, will be even more crucial going forward. I believe GRI will continue to play a critical role in shaping this new landscape in the public interest.”

Jeff Robertson (Business constituency, North America region)

With the focus and need for entrenching sustainability practices now a strategic imperative for many organizations, understanding and reporting sustainability performance, both internally and externally, has become a key priority. I am honored to be part of a team of changemakers from diverse expertise and fields in shaping the reporting landscape through application of the most widely used sustainability reporting standards in the world.”

Chulendra De Silva (Mediating constituency, Western Asia region)

More than ever, organizations need guidance on reporting their sustainability performance in a manner that is meaningful, relevant and comparable to peers. I am looking forward to joining the GSSB and contributing to the mission of developing globally accepted standards that will enable organizations to measure their impacts on the physical world and responsibility to the communities that draw on their services.”

Deborah Ng (Investment constituency, North America region)

In the times when sustainability was not a ‘buzz word’, GRI was already a catalyst for change and the first global standard setter asking for broader impact assessment. I am honored to serve as a member of the GSSB and contribute to reporting that is transparent, credible and widely accepted. I believe the GRI Standards can help every reporting organization to understand, manage and improve its sustainability performance and thus its long-term value creation, both financial and non-financial.”

Galya Tsonkova (Business constituency, Europe region)

It is with humility that I accept the opportunity to continue to serve in the Due Process Oversight Committee. The DPOC gives confidence to all GRI committees, and indeed the entire GRI fraternity, that all standard setting requirements are met, hence attracting future reporters and sustainability enthusiasts around the globe. I look forward to further contributing to the vision of attaining a sustainable world. As the saying goes, ‘we think globally but act locally’. We each have a role to play.”

Caroline Wakesho Sonje (Business constituency, Sub-Saharan Africa region)

I am looking forward to joining the DPOC. I hope my experience in developing standards and assurance frameworks can contribute to ensuring the GRI Standards follow due process designed to meet the public interest. Capital ultimately, being responsive to that public interest is a fundamental building block in securing the success of the GRI standards.”

Jeremy Nicholls (Civil society constituency, Europe region)

Completing their terms on 31 March from the GSSB and now stepped down are: Judy Kuszewski, Robyn Leeson, Michel Washer, Evan Harvey and Kenton Swift. Meanwhile, Sanjib Bezbaroa has finished his term on the DPOC. GRI is very grateful to them all for their service and contributions to advancing the organizations’ mission.

These appointments follow a two-month global public call, which sought applicants of high integrity and with relevant professional experience, reflecting a diversity of constituency groups and geographic regions. All appointments are on a voluntary basis for three-year terms.