The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), one of the leading organizations promoting standardized ESG reporting, announced today the launch of The GRI Business Leadership Forum, aiming to leverage the power of corporate reporting to drive action towards accomplishing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*.

The new forum is built around a series of quarterly online sessions with representatives from key stakeholder groups, including investors, governments, regulators, supply chains, civil society and academia, aiming to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between companies and their stakeholders. GRI reporting organizations around the world can now sign up for the two-year program, which will start in March 2021.

GRI stated that the forum will include a blend of expert guidance, peer learning and relationship building with multiple stakeholder groups; Practical support on identifying and understanding different stakeholder needs, in order to showcase the company’s commitment to the SDGs, and; Opportunities to demonstrate sustainability leadership, by contributing to a series of session summaries and masterclasses, as well as co-creating a final outcome report.

Mirjam Groten, GRI’s Chief Business Development Officer, said:

“To mobilize the efforts and resources required to deliver the SDGs, we need to do all we can to increase collaboration between businesses and other stakeholders. And as we consider how to achieve a sustainable and inclusive recovery to the pandemic, the urgency is all the more evident.

“Our Business Leadership Forum will provide companies with practical insights that can raise the quality and strategic relevance of their SDG reporting. It also offers a unique opportunity for multi-stakeholder collaboration, unlocking better outcomes both from the business and sustainable development perspectives.”

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are the most commonly accepted global standards for sustainability reporting by companies. GRI standards were developed to enable consistent reporting across companies and industries, providing clearer communication to stakeholders regarding sustainability matters.

*What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The UN SDGs refer to the 17 categories of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, with the aim to protect the planet and improve quality of life globally.  The UN SDGs set targets to achieve a broad range of aspirational goals, including ending poverty and hunger, improving education, and protecting the environment.

The UN SDGs are divided into 17 categories: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions, and Partnerships for the Goals.