Organizations such as GRI are beginning to take this leadership approach and turn it into action. One of the highlights at this year’s fifth GRI Global Conference in Amsterdam was the focus on data and technology, and how this is a critical part of the future of reporting. In 2015, GRI embarked on a new technology strategy that includes three main components:
1) Convening leaders to discuss the future of sustainability, technology and data
The GRI Technology Consortium brings together more than 30 technology leaders who share the common goal of creating innovations from data and bringing the sustainability movement into the digital age. The consortium highlights current and future solutions that use sustainability data to enhance decision-making for both business and government, and provides recommendations for the public regarding sustainability, technology and data.
2) Turning ideas into action
We are creating a sustainability data platform to both liberate the data from reports and digitize the reporting process. The GRI Digital Reporting Alliance brings together a group of companies working on two projects: creating the technical infrastructure and platform for digital reporting, and accelerating the demand for it.
3) Planning for the future
Our focus is on innovation and collaboration among private and public sector organizations toward new uses of sustainability data and information.
We have worked for nearly 20 years to help businesses and other organizations to identify, measure and communicate their impacts on a wide range of sustainability issues. Today, we also work to help businesses and their stakeholders use this data to empower sustainable decisions.
But it all relies on open, public standards as the foundation for business and policy decisions. Standards have been the architecture of every data revolution in history, and it is no different for the information revolution facing the reporting world today. This is why GRI (through the Global Sustainability Standards Board) is so focused on ensuring the development of our sustainability standards, and ensuring that they continue to be offered for free, as a public good, so they can be integrated into other frameworks, standards and approaches. These are all necessary approaches to ensure that sustainability information is more than just reported, but also becomes a key factor in all business and policy decisions. And isn’t that what reporting is all about?