Will We See Mandated Corporate Reporting on ESG / Sustainability Issues in the USA?

by Hank Boerner – Chairman – G&A Institute

Maybe…U.S. Companies Will Be Required…or Strongly Advised… to Disclose ESG Data & Related Business Information

Big changes in mandated US corporate disclosure and reporting on ESG factors may be just over the horizon — perhaps later this year? Or perhaps not…

Sustainable & responsible investing advocates have long called for greater disclosure on environmental and social issues that affect corporate financial performance (near and long-term). Their sustained campaigning may soon result in dramatic changes in the information investors and stakeholders will have available from mandated corporate filings.

We are in countdown mode — in mid-April the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency that regulates many parts of the capital market operations and especially corporate disclosure and reporting for investors issued a Concept Release with a call for public comments.

Among the issues In focus are potential adjustments, expansions and updating of mandated corporate financial reporting. One of these involves corporate ESG disclosure. The issue of “materiality” is weaved throughout the release.

Among the many considerations put forth by SEC: expanding corporate disclosure requirements for corporate financial and business information to include ESG factors, and to further define “materiality.” Especially the materiality of ESG factors.

The comment period is open for you to weigh in with your opinion on corporate ESG disclosure and reporting rules — or at least strong SEC guidance on the matter.

SEC has been conducting a “Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative,” which includes looking at corporate disclosure and reporting requirements, as well as the forms of presentation and methods of delivery of corporate information made available to investors. (Such as corporate web site content, which most feel needs to be updated as to SEC guidance.)

The umbrella regulatory framework — “Regulation S-K” — has been the dominant approach for corporate reporting since 1977 has been the principal repository (in SEC lingo) for filing corporate financial and business information (such as the familiar 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, etc.).

Investors Want More Corporate ESG Information

For a number of years now, investment community players have urged SEC to look at mandating or offering strong guidance to public company managements to expand disclosure and reporting to substantially address what some opponents conveniently call “non-financial,” or “intangible” information. An expanding base of investors feel just the opposite — ESG information is quite tangible and has definite financial implications and results for the investor. The key question is but how to do this?

Reforming and Updating Reg S-K

In December 2013 when the JOBS Act (“Jumpstart Our Business Startups”) was passed by Congress, SEC was charged with issuing a report [to Congress] on the state of corporate disclosure rules. The goal of the initiative is to improve corporate disclosure and shareholders’ access to that information.

The Spring 2016 Concept Release is part of that effort. The SEC wants to “comprehensively review” and “facilitate” timely, material disclosure by registrants and improve distribution of that information to investors. Initially, the focus is on Reg S-K requirements. Future efforts will focus on disclosure related to disclosure of compensation and governance information in proxy statements.

Asset managers utilizing ESG analytics and portfolio management tools cheered the SEC move. In the very long Concept Release – Business and Financial Disclosure Required by Regulation S-K, at 341 pages — there is an important section devoted to “public policy and sustainability” topics. (Pages 204-215).

ESG / Sustainability in Focus For Review and Action

In the Concept Release  SEC states: In seeking public input on sustainability and public policy disclosures (such as related to climate change) we recognize that some registrants (public companies) have not considered this information material.

Some observers continue to share this view.

The Concept Release poses these questions as part of the consideration of balancing those views with those of proponents of greater disclosure including ESG information:

• Are there specific public policy issues important to informed voting and investment decisions?

• If the SEC adopted rules for sustainability and public policy disclosure, how could the rules result in meaningful disclosures (for investors)?

• Would line items about sustainability or public policy issues cause registrations to disclose information that is not material to investors?

• There is already sustainability and ESG information available outside of Commission (S-K) filings — why do some companies publish sustainability, citizenship, CSR reports…and is the information sufficient to address investor needs? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these types of reports (such as being available on corporate web sites)?

• What challenges would corporate reporters face if ESG / sustaianbility / public policy reporting were mandated — what would the additional costs be? (Federal rule making agencies must balance cost-benefit.)

• Third party organizations — such as GRI and SASB for U.S. company reporting — offer frameworks for this type of reporting. If ESG reporting is mandated, should existing standards or frameworks be considered? Which standards?

The Commission has received numerous comments about the inadequacy of current disclosure regarding climate change matters. And so the Concept Release asks: Are existing disclosure requirements adequate to elicit the information that would permit investors to evaluate material climate change risk? Why — or why not? What additional disclosure requirements– or SEC guidance — would be appropriate?

Influential Voices Added to the Debate

The subject of expanded disclosure of corporate ESG, sustainability, responsibility, citizenship, and related information has a number of voices weighing in. Among those organizations contributing information and commentary to the SEC are these: GRI; SASB; Ceres; IEHN; ICCR; PRI; CFA Institute; PWC; E&Y; ISS; IIRC; BlackRock Institute; Bloomberg; World Federation of Exchanges; US SIF.

The overwhelming view on record now with SEC is that investor consideration of ESG matters is important and that change is needed in the existing corporate reporting and disclosure requirements. You can add your voice to the debate.

For Your Action:

I urge your reading of the Concept Release, particularly the pages 204 through 215, to get a better understanding of what is being considered, especially as proposed by proponents; and, I encourage you to weigh in during the open public comment period with your views.

You can help to ensure the SEC commissioners, staff and related stakeholders understand the issues involved in expanding corporate disclosure on ESG matters and how to change the rules — or offer strong SEC guidance. Let the SEC know that ESG information is needed to help investors better understand the risks and opportunities inherent in the ESG profiles of companies they do or might invest in.

SEC rules or strong guidance on ESG disclosure would be a huge step forward in advancing sustainability and ESG consideration by mainstream capital market players.

Information sources:

The SEC release was on 13 April 2016; this means the comment period is open for 90 days, to mid-July.

Helpful Background For You

Back in 1975 as the public focus on environmental matters continued to increase (all kinds of federal “E” laws were being passed, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act), stakeholders asked SEC to address the disclosure aspects of corporate environmental matters.

The initial proposal was deemed to have exceeded the commission’s statutory authority.

In 1974 the ERISA legislation had been passed by Congress, and pension funds, foundations and other fiduciaries were dramatically changing the makeup of the investor community, dwarfing the influence of one once-dominant individual investor. After ERISA and the easing of “prudent man” guidelines for fiduciaries, institutional investors rapidly expanded their asset holdings to include many more corporate equities.

And the institutions were increasingly focused on the “E,” “S” and :”G” aspects of corporate operations — and the real or potential influence of ESG performance on the financials. Over time, asset owners began to view the company’s ESG factors as a proxy for (effective or not) management.

While the 1975 draft requirements for companies to expand “E” and “S” information was eventually shelved by SEC, over the years there was a steady series of advances in accounting rules that did address especially “E” and some “S” matters.

FAS 5 issued by FASB in March 1975 addressed the “Accounting for Contingency” costs of corporate environmental liability FASB Interpretation FIN 14 regarding FAS 5 a year later (September 1976) addressed interpretations of “reasonable estimations of losses.” SEC Staff Bulletins helped to move the needle in the direction of what sustainable & responsible investors were demanding. Passage of Sarbanes-Oxley statutes in July 2002 with emphasis on greater transparency moved the needle some more.

But there was always a lag in the regulatory structure that enables SEC to keep up with the changes in investment expectations that public companies would be more forthcoming with ESG data and other information. And there was of course organized corporate opposition.

(SEC must derive its authority from landmark 1933 and 1934 legislation, expansions and updates in 1940, 2002, 2010 legislation, and so on. Rules must reflect what is intended in the statutes passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. And opponents of proposals can leverage what is/is not in the laws to push back on SEC proposals.)

There is an informative CFO magazine article on the subject of corporate environmental disclosure, published September 9, 2004, after the Enron collapse, two years after Sarbanes-Oxley became the law of the land, and 15+ years after the SEC focused on environmental disclosure enhancements. Author Marie Leone set out to answer the question, “are companies being forthright about their environmental liabilities?” Check out “The Greening of GAAP” at: http://ww2.cfo.com/accounting-tax/2004/09/the-greening-of-gaap/

And we add this important aspect to corporate ESG disclosure: Beginning in 1990 and in the years that followed, the G1 through G4 frameworks provided to corporate reporters by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) helped to address the investor-side demand for more ESG information and the corporate side challenge of providing material information related to their ESG strategies, programs, actions and achievements.

The G&A Institute team sees the significant progress made by public companies in the volume of data and narratives related to corporate ESG performance and achievements in the 1,500 and more reports that we analyze each year as the exclusive data partner for The GRI in the United States, United Kingdom, and The Republic of Ireland.

We have come a very long way since the 1970s and the SEC Concept Release provides a very comprehensive foundation for dialogue and action — soon!

Please remember to take action and leave your comments here:
http://www.sec.gov/rules/concept.shtml

Mondelez International – Food & Beverage Marketers With Strategy of a “Call for Well Being” for Stakeholders — Colleagues, Suppliers, Farmers & Consumers

Executives of major consumer brand marketers are increasingly concentrating their focus on their sustainability and responsible business practices up and down the value chain.  Senior managements are paying attention to their global enterprise value chain, from beginning to end.

For food marketers, as example, that includes greater engagement with their partners at the beginning of the chain:  farmers, small growers and suppliers. And at the other end, the all-important consumer reaching for their product at the local supermarket.

For many large marketers, the beginning of the value chain is populated with growers and small “holders,” family farmers located in less developed countries, with small amounts of land, supplying important ingredients for their large customers’ products.

Around the Equator, in countries near “zero degrees” latitude, this especially includes cocoa growers and coffee growers. These small holders are concentrated in a dozen or so such nations as [for coffee] Ethiopia, Kenya, Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, and Costa Rica; and [for cocoa] some of those countries plus Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.  For most food companies, countries like Madagascar (for vanilla, found in many food products) are also important production centers.

In the USA, consumers are paying more attention to the sources of ingredients in their food; the method of growing or raising food; conditions on the ground where ingredients are sourced; the treatment of farmers and growers at the source, and more.

Recently, Mark Bittman, prominent food writer and editorial commentator at The New York Times, described his surprise (and delight) at how rapid this rise in interest in “food origin” has been in recent years. (“When I began, nearly five years ago, food was not generally considered as serious a topic as it is now,” he wrote in September in his Sunday Times farewell column.)

Of significance:  Mark Bittman, in many of the news stories, commentaries and editorial page columns over the years, identified the major issues “facing us in the interwoven worlds of food, agriculture, nutrition and the environment.”  Food & beverage marketers are taking these issues into account as they create their sustainability strategies.

And as more retail customers raise concerns about these and other issues related to the food and beverages they consume, prominent brand marketers are paying close attention.  Companies are devising corporate sustainability strategies, operationalizing these, engaging with producers, and reporting on their achievements. (Often this is by publishing a sustainability progress report following the GRI framework, and reporting to CDP on emissions, water, supply chain, forestry practices, and other aspects of their operations, among various disclosure practices.)

Mondelez International – a Proactive Sustainability Journey

An example of corporate sustainability leadership by global brand marketers is Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ), headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois and marketing its products in over 165 countries.

The company’s “brand family” in the United States includes such well known products as: belVita and Chips Ahoy (biscuits), Dentyne & Trident (gum), Hall’s (lozenges), Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Premium and Ritz (crackers), and Tang (powder beverage);  Lu Petit Beurre (cookies), Mikado (cookies), Kinh Do (moon cakes), Stimorol (gum), and other brands that are well known in local markets; and, global brands favored by many consumers, such as Oreo cookies, and  Cadbury’s chocolate products. Many of these familiar brands date back a century or more.

The Company’s Core Values

The Mondelez International corporate management team is headed by Irene Rosenfeld, chair and CEO, and includes Robert Marques, EVP and president of North America operations.  The core values set in place by the team are built around these seven pillars:  (1) Inspire Trust; (2) Act Like Owners; (3) Keep It Simple; (4) Discuss/Decide/Deliver; (5) Tell It Like It Is; (6) Open and Inclusive; (7) Lead From Head and the Heart.

How do these thematics translate to the Mondelez International sustainability journey?  We chatted with Jonathan Horrell, MI’s director of sustainability (based in the UK at the Cadbury facility in Bournville) to learn more about MI. The company has a long tradition of taking a holistic view of its operations, he explains, and has structured its sustainability journey on four pillars that are high level strategic priorities:  (1) sustainability; (2) community; (3) mindful snacking; (4) safety.   The integration of these are summed up in the “holistic” and connected approachthe call for well-being.

Reporting on the Progress of the Journey

The company’s 2014 Call for Well Being Progress Report describes the specific goals related to the Mindful Snacking theme of the sustainability journey, and the progress made toward it at the end of 2014, with highlights. For example, on the goal of reducing saturated fat in products by 10 percent by 2020 – they noted more progress needed.  For increasing whole grains by 20% by 2020 — on target. (Since 2012, MI has increased whole grains by 23% across the entire global product portfolio, and has launched new whole grains products.)

Highlights are available at: http://www.mondelezinternational.com/~/media/mondelezcorporate/uploads/downloads/cfwb2014progressreportataglance.pdf

Concern for Developing Economies

Important ingredients for Mondelez products originate in developing countries, including cocoa and coffee (Note: The company was the world’s #2 coffee marketer.  In July, the company combined its coffee business with DE Master Blenders 1753 to create JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS (JDE), now the world’s leading pure-play coffee company).

There are thousands of small [land] holders/ growers in the company’s supply chain, mostly located across the global Equatorial growing belt (such as in the West Africa region).  The company invests millions of dollars in community development, training, and smallholder assistance.

In these (and other regions), climate change issues are front-of-mind.  There is also the consideration for Mondelez with its factories around the world (i.e., carbon emissions, water usage, water disposal, etc.).

As many global companies are doing, Mondelez is looking closely at the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved this fall at the United Nations.  Horrell explains that in terms of gender equality, for example, the work done with small holders includes assistance for the females involved in the growing communities.  The goal of eliminating poverty comes into play with the coffee and cocoa belt programs for suppliers.  And for the food safety SDG, Mondelez has long been focused on nutrition and food safety.

Stakeholder Engagement

Horrell notes that NGOs play an important role in providing advice and on the ground experience to Mondelez to help the company set strategies and calibrate its actions. For example, World Wildlife Fund has been of great assistance with advice on relations with growers of cocoa and palm oil.   Community-based agricultural associations are important partners in key areas.

As director of sustainability, Horrell’s mission is to embed sustainability throughout the business.  He is the lead in external engagements, and internally, is the point person bringing business units and functions into the company’s sustainability efforts.  His CEO is very involved in the sustainability journey, Horrell notes, and key members of the management team are involved and supportive, as well as the board of directors. (There is a board committee with sustainability responsibilities in the charter).

Among the company’s many recognitions, Horrell points to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) — Mondelez has been included in these important sustainable investing benchmarks for the past decade.

Mondelez International has a well-structured materiality process, says Horrell.  Engagement with stakeholders is a key element, including investors, customers and suppliers.  The materiality process began in 2012 and is regularly reviewed.

Another key element is lifecycle assessment (LCA). The company’s use of LCA to assess environmental impacts has resulted in an end-to-end approach across the whole product life cycle.  This requires establishing policies all along the value chain — upstream at the producer level, choice of ingredients, through factory operations, to marketing, distribution, to consumer relations – with a particular focus on raw material sourcing and manufacturing.

Jonathan Horrell’s Background

He joined Mondelez three years ago after a decade’s work with a dairy products chain and several years with Kraft Foods. Jonathan was director of corporate affairs for Kraft Foods in the UK and Ireland, and director of sustainability and global issues management. (In 2012, Kraft was spun off from Mondelez).  He comes from a farm family background, which prepares him well for his relations with small holders, he believes.  He began his career as a journalist (Accountancy Age, covering UK business, accountancy, finance) after graduation from University College, London (University of London).

Commenting on his work, Horrell says that he sees small steps in the company’s sustainability journey leading to significant positive change.   Putting a code of conduct in place for suppliers sends a strong signal as to MI’s expectations of its suppliers, and brings continuing improvements in such as areas as water quality, labor relations, solid waste reduction, and improved production of basic crops.  This is true, he explains, in MI’s palm oil and cocoa supply.

MI Chairman & CEO Irene Rosenfeld in her progress report message noted:  “When we began our journey three years ago, we set a high bar for ourselves — to create delicious moments of joy. To make that dream a reality, we knew we had the opportunity to grow our business by building a bright future for all of our stakeholders — colleagues, suppliers, farmers and consumers.”  That setting of the high bar resulted in the strategy of “Call for Well-Being.”

Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Water Utilities Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Water Utilities Sector? 

35-water-utilitiesRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Water Utilities Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 7 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 Water Utilities Sector are:

  1. Water
  2. Customer Privacy
  3. Assessment
  4. Remediation
  5. Local Communities
  6. Indigenous Rights
  7. Customer Health and Safety
  8. Public Policy
  9. Products and Services
  10. Product and Service Labeling

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Water Utilities Sector study are:

Energie Wasser Bern (EWB), Evraziyskiy, Hua Yan Water, Manila Water Company, Rosvodokanal, The Macao Water Supply Co Ltd, Xylem

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com)

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Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Waste Management Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Waste Management Sector? 

34-waste-managementRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Waste Management Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 15 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 Waste Management Sector are:

  1. Materials
  2. Overall (Environmental)
  3. Transport
  4. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
  5. Energy
  6. Local Communities
  7. Biodiversity
  8. Non-Discrimination
  9. Employment
  10. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Waste Management Sector study are:

AGR, ARA Altstoff Recycling Austria, Beelen, CESPA, FCC Division de Medio Ambiente, Lipor, Pavoni, Reclay Group, Saubermacher Dienstleistungs AG, Shanks Group plc, SIGRE, TERSA, TRATOLIXO, Van Gansewinkel Group, Waste Management

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

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Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Universities Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Universities Sector? 

33-universitiesRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Universities Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 5 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 Universities Sector are:

  1. Equal Remuneration for Women and Men
  2. Customer Privacy
  3. Materials
  4. Product and Service Labeling
  5. Marketing Communications
  6. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
  7. Market Presence
  8. Transport
  9. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
  10. Biodiversity

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Universities Sector study are:

Ball State University, La Trobe University, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Universidad Internacional de Andalucía (UNIA), University of Calgary

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

# # #

Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Travel & Tourism Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Travel & Tourism Sector? 

32-tourismRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Travel & Tourism Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 15 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 Travel & Tourism Sector are:

  1. Customer Privacy
  2. Security Practices
  3. Non-Discrimination
  4. Indigenous Rights
  5. Public Policy
  6. Child Labor
  7. Labor/Management Relations
  8. Remediation
  9. Compliance
  10. Customer Health and Safety

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Travel & Tourism Sector study are:

AIDA Cruises, Caesars Entertainment, Hyatt International, Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern, Marriott International, MCI, NH Hoteles, P&O Cruises Australia, Rezidor Hotel Group, Sol Meliá, Studiosus Reisen, The HSH Group, Thomas Cook Group, TUI AG, Unimed Campinas

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

# # #

Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Tobacco Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Tobacco Sector? 

31-tobaccoRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Tobacco Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 5 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 Tobacco Sector are:

  1. Marketing Communications
  2. Water
  3. Materials
  4. Child Labor
  5. Overall (Environmental)
  6. Anti-Competitive Behavior
  7. Corruption
  8. Product and Service Labeling
  9. Customer Privacy
  10. Public Policy

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Tobacco Sector study are:

British American Tobacco (Holdings), British American Tobacco Korea, Imperial Tobacco, KT&G, Swedish Match

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com)

# # #

 

Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Textiles & Apparel Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Textiles & Apparel Sector? 

30-textiles-and-apparel

Recent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Textiles & Apparel Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 12 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 Textiles & Apparel Sector are:

  1. Transport
  2. Prevention of Forced and Compulsory Labor
  3. Child Labor
  4. Investment and Procurement Practices
  5. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
  6. Customer Health and Safety
  7. Security Practices
  8. Customer Privacy
  9. Diversity and Equal Opportunity
  10. Non-Discrimination

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Textiles & Apparel Sector study are:

Adidas Group, American Eagle Outfitters, CALIDA, Gildan, H&M (Hennes & Mauritz), Lojas Renner S.A., Milteks, Nike, PPR SA, Puma, SLN Tekstil ve Moda San.Tic.Ltd.Sti., The Timberland Company

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

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Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Telecommunications Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Telecommunications Sector? 

29-telecommunicationsRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Telecommunications Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 70 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 Telecommunications Sector are:

  1. Customer Privacy
  2. Marketing Communications
  3. Indirect Economic Impacts
  4. Non-Discrimination
  5. Child Labor
  6. Prevention of Forced and Compulsory Labor
  7. Labor/Management Relations
  8. Product and Service Labeling
  9. Compliance
  10. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

Results:  The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Telecommunications Sector study are:

Albanian Mobile Communications, Alcatel-Lucent, Altron (Allied Electronics Corporation Limited), AT&T, AXTEL, Bell Canada, Blue Label Telecoms, Cosmote, Cosmote Romania, Deutsche Telekom, DGC One AB, Dialog Axiata, Digi.com Berhad, DNA, Elisa Oyj, E-Plus Gruppe, Ericsson, ETB, Etisalat Lanka (Private) Limited, Far Eastone Telecommunications, France Telecom – Orange, GLOBE TELECOM, GLOBUL, Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), Hrvatski Telekom (HT), Huawei NorthAmerica, Infosys Limited, Korea Telecom, KPN, Magyar Telekom, Maxis, MegaFon, MTN Group, Oi, ONO, Portugal Telecom, Qualcomm, Rogers, Rostelecom, Safaricom Limited, SingTel – Singapore Telecommunications Limited, SingTel Optus, Sprint, StarHub, Swisscom, Tele2, Telecom Argentina, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telefonica Colombia, Telekom Austria, Telekom Malaysia, Telekom Slovenije, Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telkom, Telstra, Telus, TIM Participações, Turkcell, UNE, UPC, Vodacom, Vodafone Espana, Vodafone Greece, Vodafone Italy, Vodafone Magyarország, Wind Hellas Telecommunication, Zain Group Kuwait

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

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Top 10 GRI Sustainability Aspects for the Technology Hardware Sector

Sustainability – What Matters in the Technology Hardware Sector? 

28-technology-hardwareRecent research conducted by the Governance & Accountability Institute attempts to answer important questions for company managements in the Technology Hardware Sector, by examining the disclosure practices of 42 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 Technology Hardware Sector are:

  1. Prevention of Forced and Compulsory Labor
  2. Child Labor
  3. Products and Services
  4. Customer Health and Safety
  5. Assessment
  6. Transport
  7. Biodiversity
  8. Investment and Procurement Practices
  9. Remediation
  10. Local Communities

Results: The complimentary report examining 35 sectors including top 10 GRI aspects, and top/bottom 10 GRI performance indicators can be downloaded here:
www.ga-institute.com/sustainability-what-matters

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:
www.ga-institute.com/getall84

Organizations included in the Technology Hardware Sector study are:

Aegis Limited, Agilent Technologies, Altech, Analog Devices, ARM Holdings, ASML, Assa Abloy, Chungwa Picture Tubes (CPT), Cisco Systems, Inc., Dätwyler Holding, Digicore Holdings Ltd, Dow Corning, Eaton Corp., EMC, Furukawa Electric, Hitachi, Hypertechnologie CIARA Inc. (CIARA), Indústrias Romi, Itautec, Itron, Konica Minolta Group, Lexmark, LG Display, Meyer Burger, National Instruments, NEC Corporation, NVIDIA, PitneyBowes, Protecta Kft., RIM, Samsung, Sonaecom, STMicroelectronics, Straumann Holding, Sumitomo Electric Industries, TDK, TE Connectivity, UMC (United Microelectronics Corporation), Unimicron, Vaisala Oyj, Waters Corporation, Wincor Nixdorf

About G&A Institute (www.ga-institute.com)
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.

Editors
On the G&A Institute web site there is additional information available on the Fact Sheet: What Matters Project (www.ga-institute.com/research-reports/sustainability-what-matters/fact-sheet).  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 (phamilton@ga-institute.com).

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