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July 08, 2010
UN Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative Join to Promote Corporate Sustainability
    by Robert Kropp

The Global Compact will adopt the GRI's Sustainability Reporting Guidelines as its recommended reporting framework, while the GRI will integrate the Global Compact's Ten Principles into its Guidelines.

At the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2010 last month, where corporate leaders from more than 135 countries met to mark the tenth anniversary of the UN initiative by confirming their support for the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability Leadership, the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced a collaboration, which, they said, bring together "the world’s two largest corporate responsibility initiatives."

A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two organizations calls for the GRI to integrate the Global Compact's Ten Principles into its updated
Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The Guidelines, which are the most widely used for corporate sustainability reporting in the world, are currently in the process of being updated.

For its part, the Global Compact will adopt the Guidelines as its recommended framework for companies reporting their annual
Communications on Progress (COP). The Global Compact's COP discloses to stakeholders the progress a company is making toward the implementation of the organization's Ten Principles.

With almost 8,000 corporate participants and stakeholders, the Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that aims to ensure that markets, commerce, technology, and finance are conducted in ways that will benefit economies and societies.

Although not intended as a mandatory compliance framework, the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework is a voluntary environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting and stakeholder engagement and management tool that was adopted by more than 1,000 companies in 2008.


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