Friday, April 27, 2012

GRI Underutilized by Canadian SMEs

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has indicated that although the the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a valuable tool, it is being underutilized by Canadian SMEs compared to large companies. The Government of Canada includes the Global Reporting Initiative in its CSR Strategy for the Extractive Sector and recommends that organization large and small do the same.
Georgina Wainwright-Kemdirim, an executive with Industry Canada’s Policy Coordination and Regulatory Affairs Branch, says that while the GRI’s Reporting Framework was designed to be applicable to companies and organizations of any size, in any sector, the uptake of sustainability reporting by small and medium enterprises remains fairly low compared to large companies.

“GRI is aiming to address SME involvement in sustainability reporting in the new G4 set of guidelines currently under development and which is slated to be launched in 2013, but there is still much for SMEs to use in the current GRI guidelines.” She also notes that Industry Canada’s SME Sustainability/CSR Roadmap provides practical guidance, tools and case studies to help SMEs transition to sustainability practices in their operations.

Wainwright-Kemdirim says that roughly 35% of Canadian companies currently use the GRI Guidelines in the preparation of their reports and that 80% of TSX-listed companies report on sustainability.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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