On 27 October 2015, UIC organised a workshop on the implementation of the new G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for rail companies, moderated and supported by Glenn Frommer.
Glenn Frommer is Head of Corporate Sustainability for a major public transport organisation and for over 20 years he has pioneered and implemented the organisational policies, strategies and programmes for environment, sustainability and CSR. He is a member of the GRI Working Group on Content and Materiality (GRI G3), the GRI Working Group on Disclosure of Management Aspects and assisted in drafting the newly released GRI G4 Guidelines.
The GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice for all companies and organisations. Its framework is a reporting system that provides metrics and methods for measuring and reporting sustainability-related impacts and performance.
The aim of the new G4 Guidelines is to increase user-friendliness and accessibility. The emphasis on what is material encourages organisations to provide only information that is critical to their business and stakeholders. This means organisations and report users can concentrate on the sustainability impacts that matter, resulting in reports that are more strategic, more focused, more credible, and easier for stakeholders to navigate.
On 23 April, an initial workshop presented an overview of the G4 and the Gap Assessment as a basis for discussion and building consensus on a common approach to identifying key challenges for the rail sector. After this first workshop a draft handbook was produced and exchanged with the members facing the final workshop held on 27 October.
The main points discussed during the final workshop were how to address the materiality indicators for reporting, how to identify and to engage stakeholders in the reporting process. Participants agreed on the requirement of guidelines to implement the new GRIG4 and exchanged opinions regarding the future worldwide and regional trends on the topic, and how legal frames, stakeholders and large corporations are increasing their demands on the quality and standardisation of sustainability reporting.
In terms of the final output of the workshop, UIC will produce a final handbook on the main points to be improved and guidelines to implement the GRIG4 Standard.