If you are a company that already publishes a sustainability report (or is thinking about doing it in the future), stop what you're doing and pay attention.
For the last 15 years, most sustainability reporting has been driven by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI ), which publishes a stakeholder-driven set of sustainability reporting guidelines designed to give companies a framework for disclosing their economic, social, and environmental impacts.
While GRI is an essential part of the sustainability reporting field, a new player has appeared who may shake things up: the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The IRRC is a group designed to promote "integrate reporting" -- which is integrating sustainability and financial reporting into a single, more meaningful model.
Why is this important now?
The IIRC has launched the consulting draft of integrated reporting framework. Over the next ninety days, the organization is seeking feedback on the draft from companies, investor groups, reporting standards organizations, accounting bodies and regulators — basically everyone who has a stake in the transformation of corporate reporting.
The framework differs from standard financial reporting in a number of ways:
(For more information on the topic, check out the IIRC executive director's article in the Harvard Business Review).
Even if you aren't a publicly-traded organization and don’t have equity investors, this is still important. The IIRC framework has the potential to change the types of questions that stakeholder will ask -- including customers, suppliers, financiers, and local advocates.
So check out the draft framework and make your voice heard. (At least take a look -- you'll want to know what's coming down the pipeline regardless of your level of commitment at this time!)