GRI Linkage Document For EU Sustainability Mandate Released! Linkage Documents Can Help Cure Some “Survey Fatigue”

By Louis D Coppola @ G&A Institute..

Do you have “survey fatigue” from all the various sustainability reporting frameworks?  Well.. GRI Linkage Documents may be the answer to your prayers.

A while back you may have read my earlier blog posts as we were monitoring the developments of the new EU directive for Non-Financial and Diversity Disclosure.  As most of you know by now the Directive entered into force in December 2014.  The directive will impact over 6,000 large public enterprises that operate in the European Union and mandate them to report on certain sustainability matters.

You can read some frequently asked questions about the directive here.

https resourcelibrary GRI_G4_EU Directive_Linkage.pdf

The good news today is that GRI has released a “linkage document” which links the GRI G4 indicators to the specific requirements of the EU directive.  This document is the latest addition of these very useful linkage documents created by GRI.

For those of you who are worrying about “survey fatigue” or the growing number of sustainability reporting / data collection organizations that you must reply to – you should be aware of these linkage documents.  In a nutshell these linkage documents allow a GRI reporter to utilize their GRI report and content index to disclose to several major important reporting organizations with only one report.

The linkage documents currently include guidance for using GRI reports as one stop report to respond to several important reporting organizations / frameworks like ISO 26000, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), IFC Sustainability Performance Standards, The Earth Charter, and now the new EU Directive for Non-Financial and Diversity Disclosure.

Imagine that! – You can use your GRI report to help respond to all of these important sustainability groups at once.  Another reason why you should be reporting using the GRI framework.  The globally recognized (over 6,000 companies utilizing GRI) de-facto standardized format of disclosure that you have when reporting using the GRI framework allows for these types of alignment / synchronization, and can help you to answer more important stakeholders information requests, with less time invested, more accuracy and more efficiency.

As an example of how this would work take a look at the GRI Content index for ArcellorMittal where they use one index for UNGC and GRI here.

Another example is GAP where they have combined GRI, UNGC, and CDP into one GRI index here.

You can see all the GRI linkage documents listed here.

You can access the announcement and the new EU linkage document here.

If you have any questions please contact me (lcoppola AT and let me know – about this or any other sustainability topics.  Think of G&A Institute as your sustainability think tank.  Over the past ten years we have designed research, systems and services to help you get more out of your sustainability efforts, and I would be very excited to tell you more about how we can help.





New Online Materiality Mapping Tool to Help Corporate Responsibility / Sustainability Reporters

By Louis D Coppola @ G&A Institute..

Convetit Embeds Materiality Mapping Tool Into Virtual Stakeholder Engagement ThinkTanks
G&A Institute Data Sets Available As Important Element of the Tool

Convetit LogoAs corporate managers transition from the GRI 3.1 framework to G4, they may experience daunting challenges.  One important consideration for report creators:  the critical GRI G4 requirement of engaging stakeholders to determine materiality for corporate sustainability reporting.

Enter Convetit, a new online stakeholder engagement platform, which has added a turnkey solution a Materiality Mapping Tool that embeds an interactive matrix into virtual “ThinkTanks”. This tool  can be used to engage with stakeholders to plot material issues on a dual-axis grid weighing significance to stakeholders against business impact that can then be exported for integration into corporate sustainability reports.

TomOMalley-HeadshotExplains Convetit Co-Founder / CEO Tom O’Malley:  “Convetit ThinkTanks introduce a new, more efficient and effective practice of interacting with key stakeholders at their convenience across time zones. globally, over a matter of days in asynchronous dialogues.  This enables companies to collaboratively identify, prioritize, validate, and review their material sustainability issues with our Materiality Mapping Tool.”

Advantage: Convetit ThinkTanks are designed to help companies save on the cost, calendaring, and carbon associated with traditional real-time engagement – such as in-person meetings, conference calls, and webinars.  This approach empowers companies and stakeholders to integrate meaningful, in-depth dialogue into their regular routines.

G&A Institute Collaboration:  To help jumpstart materiality determinations, Convetit pre-loaded templates of the top 15 material GRI aspects (each representing an issue) in each of 35 sectors based on research of more than 1,200 GRI sustainability reports by the Governance & Accountability Institute for its report, Sustainability – What Matters.

Louis_Coppola_3608Notes Governance & Accountability Institute Executive Vice President Lou Coppola:
“Our Sustainability – What Matters research makes for a perfect starting point for Convetit’s Materiality Mapping tool.  If your sector or industry or investment peer companies consider the 15 GRI aspects we found most often in the 1,200-plus surveyed sustainability reports to be the most worthy for their reporting, then it only makes sense to see if your stakeholders agree that these are your company’s most material issues…or not.”

Convetit’s business model is fueled by the corporate sustainability field’s longstanding practices of Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality – which are increasingly coming into sharper focus and converging.

In addition to GRI G4’s enhanced attention on these two interrelated practices, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) includes both Materiality and Stakeholder Relationships as Guiding Principles.

BillBaue-Headshot-Jacket-6-7-12-small-squareAdds Convetit Co-Founder and Chief Engagement Architect Bill Baue: “The increasing alignment between GRI, and IIRC around the core practices of stakeholder engagement and materiality enhances the demand for simple yet sophisticated platforms such as Convetit’s virtual ThinkTanks that embed our Materiality Mapping tool. Convetit ThinkTanks can augment or replace traditional stakeholder engagement, supplanting arms-length, tick-box surveys with direct, authentic interaction with key stakeholders over enough time for creative collaboration to emerge.”

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.

About Convetit (
Convetit is a secure, agile platform for hosting meaningful dialogue over defined time periods (from days to weeks) in virtual ThinkTanks. These time-bound, asynchronous forums remove the logistical barriers of organizing and managing stakeholder engagement. Convetit’s facilitation tools enable you to convene stakeholders and thought leaders to vet issues and ideas — including material sustainability impacts — in discussion threads that augment (or even replace) real-time gatherings.

Contacts for information:

Tom O’Malley
Co-Founder & CEO, Convetit

Bill Baue
Co-Founder & Chief Engagement Architect, Convetit

Louis D. Coppola
Executive VP – Governance & Accountability Institute
Advisor to the Convetit team