G4 Online puts sustainability reporting at your fingertips

November 7, 2013

G4 Online, a web-based tool to support organizations preparing sustainability reports using the latest generation of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, is launched today.

The free to use website presents the content of the G4 Guidelines complete and in a dynamic and easy-to-navigate format, and is designed to support users directly involved in a G4-based reporting process.

G4 Online is aimed at users who have already familiarized themselves with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures of the G4 Guidelines. Reporters who have a basic understanding of the G4 reporting process can use G4 Online to:

  • Access instant definitions of key terms and concepts, as they prepare their report
  • Access information referenced in the G4 text, such as references to other globally recognized sustainability reporting frameworks, via links to third party websites
  • Link to G4 content directly from their reports, web sites, blogs, forums or social network platforms

G4 Online allows users to view G4 content in a more convenient and integrated way. In their original PDF format, the G4 Guidelines are presented in two parts – the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures, and the Implementation Manual. In G4 Online, this content is combined for easy reference, with the Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures accompanied by explanatory text from the Implementation Manual.

[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″ bcolor=”bdbdbd” bgcolor=”bdbdbd” image=”null”]In addition to enhancing the relevance and quality of standalone sustainability reports, G4 will be a powerful tool for generating material sustainability information for inclusion in integrated reports.[/stextbox]

The GRI Guidelines – the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world – enable all companies and organizations to report on their economic, environmental, social and governance performance. The fourth generation of the Guidelines, G4, was launched in May 2013 and has been revised and enhanced to reflect important current and future trends in sustainability reporting.

This includes an increased emphasis on the need for organizations to focus, both in the reporting process and the final report, on the process of identifying material Aspects – those topics that are material to their business and their key stakeholders. This ‘materiality’ focus will make reports more relevant, more credible and more user-friendly, enabling organizations to better inform markets and society on sustainability matters and the organization’s understanding of its challenges.

Nelmara Arbex, GRI’s Chief Advisor on Innovation in Reporting, said: “G4 Online will make the experience of reporting easier. For report authors, it provides a more convenient way to navigate G4 content, with key terms and definitions just a click away. We are very curious to know users’ reactions to this first version of G4 Online.”

In the coming months GRI will gather user feedback and carry out consultations with experts, which will be used to inform further development of G4 Online.

Organizations that are planning to produce G4-based reports in the next reporting cycle, and plan to use G4 Online during the process until June 2014, can become part of the “Surfing on G4 Online” users group.  Please communicate your interest by emailing  g4online@globalreporting.org.

The development of G4 Online has been supported by General Electric and Itaipu Binacional. 

 Other key enhancements in G4 include increased user-friendliness and greater accessibility to those new to reporting, and harmonization with other important global frameworks, including the OECD MNE Guidelines, the United Nations Global Compact Principles, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

About GRI

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

GRI is an international not-for-profit organization, with a network-based structure. Its activity involves thousands of professionals and organizations from many sectors, constituencies and regions.



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