Jean Rogers (CEO of SASB) and Tim Mohin (Chief Executive of GRI) published a joint article about corporate sustainability reporting; where it is heading to and what kind roles do these two different frameworks have in the field.
GRI was the first sustainability reporting framework developed and today majority of companies are using it as a guideline in their sustainability reporting. GRI standards take into account a wide variety of global stakeholders ranging from civil society to investors.
On the other hand, SASB has a bit different ankle to the sustainability reporting. It focuses on investors and develops standards that are material to that specific group.
Although these to frameworks have different focuses, they do not exclude each other. As the writers state in the article, because GRI and SASB have different audiences, they should be used combined:
“The bottom line is that the GRI and SASB standards are not mutually exclusive; they are mutually supportive.“
Today only financial information do not satisfy stakeholders’ needs. Companies have to take different stakeholder groups into account when deciding on material topics in which GRI and SASB both support the reporters:
“Investors need standardized, high quality information on material factors that can affect price or value. When sustainability disclosure distinguishes between that which is material to the investors (because it may affect price or value), and that which is of interest to stakeholders (because it describes company’s impacts and could affect the company trajectory in the long-term), all stakeholders benefit. SASB and GRI are designed to meet these respective needs.”
“Actions driven through the financial markets and actions driven through a wider range of stakeholders are important in different ways. Both SASB and GRI recognize this and we pledge to support one another in this common quest on improving corporate performance on sustainability issues.”
Reference: Mohin, T & Rogers, J.: “How to approach corporate sustainability reporting in 2017”, March 16 2017 https://www.greenbiz.com/article/how-approach-corporate-sustainability-reporting-2017/?dm_i=4J5,4UZ3L,83POPQ,IDRI5,1
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