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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Mar/Apr 2004 : Special Section

Special Section



REACHING USERS

At the end of March 2004, SRI World Group, Inc. will launch OneReport, an on-line network through which companies can report their environmental, social, economic and
corporate governance information to research firms and other data users. Companies report their data just once and the service distributes the information to appropriate data users. For details visit www.sriworld.com.


MATCHMAKER TARGETS IMPROVED REPORTING

A new program launched in February by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) may help bridge academic interest with private-sector experience in sustainability reporting. Called Matchmaker, the program will match companies that have prepared sustainability reports with universities that can deliver rigorous feedback to GRI reporters. In the form of workshops, clinics and practicums, the partnership is intended to enrich both the academic learning experience while providing companies with constructive and tailored feedback on their most recent GRI reports.

Leading academic institutions are embracing corporate responsibility as a key element in MBA and executive education. Within this domain, sustainability reporting is a key element, with direct linkages to courses and research in finance, accounting, governance, human resources and strategy. Just as reporting is on the rise, so too are investigations by academics and practitioners into motivations and benefits of reporting, application of the GRI Guidelines and best practices. With the Matchmaker program, GRI attempts to share lessons learned with its growing, international community of reporters. It is designed to address and advance two parallel goals: enlarging the overall knowledge base of company
experiences with GRI reporting while providing individualized feedback to companies to support their improvement efforts.

How Matchmaker Works:

1. Getting started: Course instructors register their interest in performing a critique with their class on a report with GRI. Likewise, reporters also register interest in having their report critiqued in a constructive and detailed manner.

2. The match: GRI matches requested logistical criteria such as timing, geographic location, language, sector, etc., and puts the course conductor in touch with the reporting organization.

3. The critique criteria: GRI provides a template for report critique criteria. The course conductor and the reporting organization can adjust the template to reflect specific requests by the reporter, or course learning goals of the instructor.

4. The presentation: The course conductor and reporting organization agree on output, which may include formal written feedback to the reporter, a set of case studies and—highly
recommended—a one- to two-day workshop where both parties can meet and interchange ideas.

5. The results: The course conductor should supply GRI with a synopsis of the critique upon conclusion of the program, along with any case studies that may have been generated.

GRI has set a low administration fee to finance the Matchmaker program. For more information, visit www.globalreporting.org.

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