Navigating the Way to Sustainability

Materiality Reporting Workshops & Support Programs For US Companies, Trade Associations, Supply Chain Partners, Provided by ISOS Group & G&A Institute

Source: G&A Institute

November 26, 2013 /3BL Media/ - ISOS Group, a GRI Certified training partner in the U.S. and Governance & Accountability Institute, the exclusive data partner for GRI in the U.S. A. have partnered to conduct the GRI Business Transparency Program in the United States for companies, trade associations, and supply chains associated with particular sectors. This symbolic move to address supply chain measures was launched last week at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business in Manhattan.

New York, November 26, 2013 - The dramatic growth in reporting by U.S. companies on their sustainability and responsibility strategies and performance has increased the focus on the "material" content of such reporting.  Companies are creating comprehensive materiality processes and engaging with internal and external stakeholders to discuss topics that each consider to be material.  Managers are identifying issues specific to company finances, operations, environmental management, supply chain and procurement, and other aspects of their operations to consider the materiality of these for structured public disclosure.

The guidelines of choice for most companies in the United States and around the world are those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which has its roots in the U.S. dating back to the 1990s and is now headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  The majority of US companies publishing sustainability or responsibility reports are utilizing the GRI guidelines as their standard.

As the GRI global standards organization updates the guidelines for reporting from the present G3.1 to G4 (fourth generation), the emphasis on materiality as a process for determining report content and level of disclosure is dramatically increasing.

As the GRI G4 framework is rolled out over the coming months, it is clear that an increasing focus on materiality and "what" is material...and "why"...and "how" will this affect investment decision making or corporate sustainability reporting, strategy, and results.  One of the first steps in setting an organization’s strategy and preparing a GRI report is to conduct a thorough materiality process to determine the most important issues, Aspects, and Key Performance Indicators for internal interests, investors and other stakeholders.

The key question to be determined is:  What is material?

That question is considered settled in terms of traditional financial accounting and performance reporting by public companies, but with the increasing emphasis on "sustainability" issues the question needs to be broadly debated for companies to decide what is material (and to be included in their reports).  Managers need information and guidance to attain leadership in their reporting efforts.

To meet the needs of corporate managers for determining reliable and comparable metrics for ESG strategies and performance, and better understand the interests of asset managers and financial analysts adopting sustainable investing approaches, ISOS Group and G&A Institute will provide a comprehensive approach to training, information-sharing and guidance on materiality backed by supporting evidence of sector-specific shared impacts.

The GRI Business Transparency Program ("BTP") for the United States
--  Materiality Driven Workshops - Follow up Support - For Business Sectors

Corporate and trade associations participating in the BTP will be provided with information, guidance and advice on what companies in North America, and around the globe, are addressing as material Aspects in their disclosures.  (ISOS Group is a GRI Certified Training Partner in the U.S. and Governance & Accountability Institute is the exclusive Data Partner for GRI in the U.S. A.)

To meet the needs of the various sustainability reporting players, ISOS and G&A have joined forces to conduct interactive- hands on workshops and provide close follow up support to BTP participants for up to 6 months after joining the program.  The emphasis will be on sectors and industries (financial services, energy and utilities, restaurants, food and agriculture, chemicals, public agencies, pharmaceuticals, and others).

PHASE 1: GRI Certified Training offered by GRI Certified Training Partner- ISOS Group.

The two-day training will introduce participants to the GRI sustainability reporting framework and walk them through the five phases of preparing a report. Participants will benefit from the knowledge of our qualified trainers, hands-on activities, case studies, and guest presentations from active GRI reporters. The training will be enhanced by added sector-related modules -  designed to enable corporate managers and investors to get a head start on the important process of identifying and prioritizing material issues with the help of findings from G&A Institute's research on the results of materiality processes of over 1,500 companies across the globe.  G&A Institute will share the results of their year-long analysis of materiality reporting by companies in 33 sectors worldwide. 

PHASE 2: On-going support over a period of 6 months to be offered by GRI Certified Training Partner- ISOS Group and GRI Data Partner- Governance & Accountability Institute.

A series of Coaching Workshops will support participants in the Business Transparency Program as they follow the sustainability reporting process – connecting with stakeholders, determining materiality, defining the content of their report, monitoring their performance, and preparing the final report. ISOS and G&A will be offering six specialized webinars over a period of six months, addressing specific needs of our participants in the Business Transparency Program.

The partners will supplement the hard data analysis with case studies and examples of actual corporate disclosure practices, implications, and results of leading companies in one focused event. The workshops are designed to be interactive, support peer benchmarking and build foundations for reporting processes. Groups that sign on to the U.S. Business Transparency Program will walk away with a certificate issued directly by the Global Reporting Initiative while also being listed on the GRI website under the Business Transparency Program- USA.

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Meet Governance & Accountability Institute [“G&A”]
G&A was chosen by GRI to be the exclusive GRI Data Partner for the United States of America, The United Kingdom, and The Republic of Ireland. This means that we are responsible for finding, analyzing, and sharing important details of every sustainability report from every organization headquartered in these three countries. Our data feeds into multiple important endpoints used by various stakeholders (investors, NGOs, data providers, media, clients etc), we communicate and announce every report via our communications channels, and the details are combined with the other global data partners in the GRI reporting database.

This year the G&A Institute researchers analyzed over 1,500 reports for their disclosure levels on all 84 GRI G3.1 performance indicators.  With this comprehensive data set, for the first time ever, we can combine the materiality processes of over 1,500 reporters and give you a comprehensive overview into which GRI indicators are found to be most material for your sector.

Governance & Accountability Institute | E-mail: | Office: 646.430.8230


Meet ISOS Group [“ISOS”]
ISOS Group is a leading sustainability consultancy company with big project experience that blends a passion for corporate social responsibility reporting with educating the next generation of sustainability professionals. ISOS is a GRI Certified Training Partner in the U.S. in which capacity we have individually trained the highest number of sustainability professionals in the world. 

Our approach to GRI training uses proven methods tested with previous clients, knowledge in the field and the best standard for sustainability reporting, the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 Framework. Our team of GRI Certified practitioners has unmatched experience working with a wide range of businesses, which allows us to share best practices and valuable insights across all sectors. We specialize in GRI and CDP sustainability reporting, external assurance of CSR reports and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate data, which gives us a holistic understanding of reporting, and assurance.

ISOS Group is a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Certified Training Partner and a Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Silver Consultancy Partner in the U.S.

ISOS Group | E-mail: | Office: 619.246.1122

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