GRI Database – a valuable tool soon to disappear
One of the most useful tools for report writers will soon disappear – the GRI Database!
Following an ongoing review of the platform and a decrease in the number of reports registered on the Database, GRI has decided to discontinue the practice, with the last reports uploaded in December 2020. What a pity!
Whenever someone asked me where to find good practices, I always referred them to the GRI Database. More than 63,000 reports could be found there, sorted by sector, country, and other useful filters. Year after year, I have tried to convince companies to share their reports on the GRI Database for the good of sustainability reporting. Now, this work has come to an end. As of April 2021, the GRI Database will no longer be available.
So where can we go now to read other reports and find such a comprehensive collection of good practices?
With new challenges comes the creation of new opportunities.
As we begin looking for a new home for reports, it is important for us to consider some of the lessons learned and potential areas of development that come out of can be taken from the closure of the GRI Database.
First, as countries start to report on the SDGs and, in particular, on Target 12.6, countries need to have an overview on who should report and who is reporting on their sustainability performance.
Second, this could be an opportunity for those in different associations and areas of the business sector to collect good practices on the sustainability performance specific to their sector. Why not collect and share sustainability reports relevant to their own business and streamline the process for report writers in finding examples and good practices?
Third, the gap that the discontinuation of the GRI Database leaves creates an opportunity for the development of online tools to guide reporters towards good practices. For report writers, this could be even more valuable, as the administrators can highlight good practices and separate them from examples that are not as relevant or useful.
Finally, there is a tool, Report Adviser, that has the potential to fill the gaps left by GRI. In December, we organized a webinar on Report Adviser for those who were interested in learning more about it. We have made a free recording of the webinar, which is available upon request. The Report Adviser tool is currently available to be tested free of charge.
Please let us know if you would like to receive the webinar recording, if you wish to learn more about Report Adviser, or if you have any questions.
We can fill this gap together!
by Rolf Schwery