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December 31, 2010
Major Sustainability Reporting Initiatives Announce Partnership
    by Robert Kropp

The Organization for Co-operation and Development and the Global Reporting Initiative will cooperate to improve sustainability reporting by multinational companies.

A recently announced partnership between the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) seeks to bring "increased coherence and consistency" to sustainability reporting by multinational corporations, according to the organizations.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two groups establishes a three-year program to encourage companies to use both OECD's
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and GRI's Sustainability Reporting Framework in their sustainability reporting.

The MoU also outlines ways in which the two organizations can strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

GRI's Sustainability Reporting Framework is the most widely used corporate sustainability reporting mechanism in the world, providing information on reporting principles and guidance, as well as key performance indicators, for corporations to use as a basis for their annual reporting.

OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, completed in 2000, consist of recommendations by the organization's 42 adhering countries "covering all major areas of business ethics, including corporate steps to obey the law, observe internationally-recognized standards and respond to other societal expectations." In June, OECD announced an update of the Guidelines, with specific reference to supply chains, human rights, and the environment and climate change.

GRI is in the process of updating its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines to include industry-specific Sector Supplements for 15 industries. According to the GRI, the development of a Sector Supplement "provides a platform for collaboration between those working in a sector and their stakeholders to define the new reporting guidance." Earlier this year, GRI was involved in the formation of the
International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC), which seeks to bring about the convergence of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) reporting with financial reporting.


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