Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Financial Services Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Financial Services Sector

Recent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Financial Services Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 134 global peer organizations publishing GRI reports in the Sector.

The top 10 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) aspects that were determined to be material by the managements of reporting organizations in the Financial Services Sector are:

  1. Customer Privacy
  2. Materials
  3. Marketing Communications
  4. Equal Remuneration for Women and Men
  5. Training and Education
  6. Public Policy
  7. Investment and Procurement Practices
  8. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
  9. Corruption
  10. Indirect Economic Impacts

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:

The full rankings for all 84 GRI performance indicators and all 37 GRI Aspects for each of the 35 sectors examined are available for purchase at:

Organizations included in the Financial Services Sector study are:

Aargauische Kantonalbank, ABN AMRO Holding, Absa, Access Bank PLC, ACE Seguros S.A., AEGON, Agence Française de Développement, Akbank, Allianz, ALPHA Bank, Arab Bank, Assicurazioni Generali, ATEbank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Banco do Brasil, Banco Galicia, Bank Millennium S.A., Bank Of Montreal, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Barclays, Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank BLKB, Basler Kantonalbank, BBVA Bancomer, BBVA Colombia, BBVA Provincial, Berner Kantonalbank, BicBanco, Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK), BNY Mellon, Bonus Vorsorge, CaixaBank, Cajamar Caja Rural, CIMB Foundation under CIMB Group, CISCO Thailand, Citigroup, Comergon, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Development Bank of the Philippines, Diners Club del Ecuador, Discovery, DKV Seguros, DNB NOR, Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF), Etera, Etica Sgr S.p.A., European Reliance, Ficohsa, FIRA – Banco de Mexico, Folksam, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fouriertransform, GNP Seguros, Government Savings Bank, Graubundner Kantonalbank (GKB), Grupo Sancor Seguros, Grupo Sura, Hatton National Bank (HNB), HNB Assurance PLC, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Humana, IBERCAJA BANCO, S.A.U, IDLC, ING Group, Innnovationsbron, Instituto Infraero de Seguridade Social -INFRAPREV, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Intesa Sanpaolo, Investec, Investissement Quebec, JPMorgan Chase, KBC Group, Kendall Court, Kutxa, Kuwait Finance Housing, Landbank Of The Philippines, Landesbank Baden-Wüerttemberg (LBBW), LeasePlan, Liberty Group, Montepaschi Group, Morgan Stanley, Munich Re, Mutualista Pichincha, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), National Bank of Greece, National Bank of Oman, Nationale Suisse, Nedbank Group, NIBC Bank, Nordea Bank, Norrlandsfonden, Northern Trust, Nykredit, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank, Oesterreichische Nationalbank, PREVI, Prudential Financial Inc, Raiffeisen Schweiz, Redecard, Sanlam, Sarasin, SBAB, Sberbank, Scotiabank, Shinhan Financial Group, SIX Group, Standard Bank, Standard Life, State Street Corporation, SulAmérica Companhia Nacional de Seguros, Suramericana S.A, SVEDAB, Svensk Exportkredit, Swedfund International, Swiss Re, TD Bank Financial Group, The Co-operators, The GPT Group, The National Commercial Bank (NCB), The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB), Triglav Insurance Company, Triodos Bank, UBS, UCA Funds Management, Unicredit, Union Bank, Union Investment, Valiant, Vancity, VidaCaixa, Vontobel Gruppe, VTB Group, Wells Fargo & Company, Zürcher Kantonalbank


About G&A Institute (
G&A Institute is a New York-based, private sector company providing sustainability-focused services and resources to corporate and investment community clients, including: Issue Counseling & Sustainability Strategies; Sustainability Reporting; Materiality Assessments; Stakeholder Engagement; Benchmarking; Investor Relations; Communications; Coaching, Team Building & Training;  Issues Monitoring & Customized Research; Third Party Recognitions.  G&A is the exclusive Data Partner for the GRI in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (  The resulting “most important” to “least important” ranking for the 35 sectors is available to media on a case-by-case basis please contact:  Peter Hamilton (

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For Financial Services Sector Managers – Materiality Reporting Workshop, G3.1 and Preparing for Transition to G4

by Hank Boerner, Chairman, G&A Institute

Materiality – for corporate managers, and sustainability report users (asset managers, analysts), materiality really does matter.  But the question is asked — what matters?  To whom? What are our peer companies reporting?  What is best practice in determining the materiality of issues?  What about our sector…industry?

To help answer some of these questions for Financial Services Sector managers, two leading consultancies have teamed to present a workshop on November 20, 2013 at Baruch College / City of New York University.  The “how and why” of determining and reporting on materiality for the sector will be explored and research presented on the 2012 GRI reporting activities of almost 200 companies in the global Financial Services Sector. G&A Institute is teaming with ISOS Group, certified GRI trainers, and host Baruch College / The Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity, to present an all-day workshop on materiality in the Financial Services Sector.

Participants will learn (and get advice on) what companies in North America and other regions are addressing in their materiality processes, and what they are including in their GRI reports. G&A Institute is the exclusive Data Partner for the GRI in the United States and over the past year has conducted a comprehensive study of corporate reporting using the GRI guidelines, sector-by-sector.  Findings will be shared at the workshop.  ISOS Group conducts the two-day GRI workshops around the country and will discuss the transition to G4 from G3.1, and important aspects of determining materiality for the GRI reporting process.

*NEW IN THE USA: As part of this workshop, participants will receive their Certificate of completion of the “GRI Certified Training Module on Defining Report Content” directly from the Global Reporting Initiative.

The workshop is timely — companies using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for their sustainability reporting are preparing for transition from the present third generation (G3.1) to the new G4 guidelines. There is increased emphasis on the materiality of content of reports in G4. So -what is considered “material?” (Depends on the company’s operations, sector, industry, peer group reporting practices- and very important, stakeholder views on what is material to them.)

Companies experienced in sustainability reporting develop robust materiality processes, which include engaging with a range of stakeholders and developing feedback on their views of materiality (as well as internal processes to identify material issues).. So – looking at 2012 corporate reporting – what are companies choosing as their most material content element? The least material? What’s in the middle? What varies sector-to-sector, industry-to-industry?

The G&A Institute team will provide answers to these questions. We are just completing a year-long study of 1500 global companies in 30+ sectors and their responses to the GRI 3.1 guidelines. We’ll be releasing results over the coming weeks. The first unveiling of the most-to-least responses will be for the global Financial Services Sector.

On November 20, the one-day workshop on Financial Services materiality disclosure and reporting trends agenda will cover many items dealing with Materiality.

Guest speakers include Hideki Suzuki of Bloomberg LP,  Marjella Alma of GRI Focal Point USA, and Herbert Blank of Thomson Reuters (new) TR CR Indexes and benchmarks..

Registration for the workshop is open — information is at: