Ethical Performance
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GRI calls for tougher regimes on reporting

April 2009

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has issued a strongly worded statement arguing that a lack of corporate transparency has contributed substantially to the worldwide recession.

Its ‘Amsterdam declaration’ published last month, claims ‘the root causes of the current economic crisis would have been moderated by a global transparency and accountability system’, and urges governments to consider mandatory reporting.

The statement, whose signatories include CSR strategist John Elkington and Kishor Chaukar, managing director of Tata Industries, is described as a call to ‘all governments to extend and strengthen the global regime of sustainability reporting’.

Specifically, the declaration emphasizes the need for policy and regulatory requirements on companies, for social reporting from public bodies such as state-owned businesses and government pension funds, and for the integration of sustainability reporting into financial regulation. ‘In particular,’ the declaration notes, ‘assumptions about the adequacy of voluntary reporting must be re-examined.’

The declaration signatories add that the global focus on today’s financial crisis. though understandable, threatens to mask the sustainability crisis, which, it argues, poses an even greater risk to economies and societies.

GRI chief executive Ernst Ligteringen said: ‘Only through a new reporting model, which takes account of forward-looking data, as well as previous corporate financial data, will we be able to work out how companies are positioned to meet these future challenges.’

Global Reporting Initiative | Global | Reporting

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