Enhancing Accountability of Business

July 15, 2021
Shipping container barge on river - Enhancing Accountability of Business

The globalization of trade has transformed how companies and entire industries operate—affecting how they approach production, respond to demand, trade goods, and develop new products, services, and processes. While the global economy has accelerated growth and increased living standards for much of the global population in astounding ways, it has done so at the expense of the environment by expanding ecological footprints with its linear take-make-waste model.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) brings transparency to the ecological impact of organizations by reporting on the immediate and long-term effects of global supply chains. Established in 1997, GRI is the first organization of its kind to set standards and develop a common language for companies to report on their impacts, empowering politicians and corporate leaders to make responsible decisions that reduce the harmful effects of globalization and drive social, environmental, and economic change to benefit all.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are among the tools that GRI uses to measure the global footprint and sustainability of businesses, governments, and individuals. Using a data-driven approach, GRI develops personalized reporting designed to serve as reality checks for leaders who may not see the full impact of their supply chains. The organization’s reports not only raise awareness; they encourage increased accountability and set expectations that companies and other entities will review their policies with sustainability in mind.

Funding through CAF America is supporting GRI’s efforts to promote health and well-being in the workplace across the US. Through a stakeholder consultation study conducted in 2018, GRI solicited input from private sector companies, academics, public health professionals, nonprofits, unions, and governance research and proxy advisors to identify and better understand business practices that may impact employees’ health and well-being.

Using the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards as well as indicators affiliated with SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), the initial research identified measures and practical benchmarks for businesses to use in promoting a healthier environment for employees. The findings also informed GRI’s guiding principles for establishing a more sustainable culture of health in business, including 16 Culture of Health for Business Practices, which were found to have a positive effect on the well-being of employees as well as on business outcomes.

GRI is now focused on raising awareness to encourage the widespread adoption of these practices. The dedicated efforts of GRI help companies reinforce their commitment to developing smarter business practices that benefit the health and well-being of their employees, their communities, and the environment.


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