A news release said that the analysts recommend that companies start reporting annually on their key social and environmental policies, practices and performance. The analysts called for companies to base that reporting on Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. The GRI is an independent institution that has developed standardized sustainability reporting guidelines with the participation of representatives from business, accounting, investment, environmental, human rights, research and labor organizations from around the world.
“Companies have been asking us for guidance on how to meet the skyrocketing demands for information,” Trillium Asset Management Senior Social Research Analyst Steve Lippman said in a statement. “At the same time, a growing set of investors is relying on data on companies’ social and environmental performance to make investment decisions. With this statement, we recommend ways that companies can increase the credibility, comparability, and utility of their reporting.”
A number of major US companies are already basing their reporting on the GRI guidelines, including Citigroup, Ford, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Starbucks.
The joint analyst statement is a project of two working groups of the Social Investment Forum: the International Working Group (IWG) and the Social Investment Research Analysts Network (SIRAN). The Social Investment Forum is a national nonprofit membership organization that promotes socially responsible investing.
Signatories to the joint statement include the following firms: Boston Common Asset Management, LLC, Calvert Group, Christian Brothers Investment Services, Citizens Advisers Inc., Domini Social Investments LLC, Dreyfus Premier Third Century Fund, Inc. / Dreyfus Socially Responsible Growth Fund, Inc., Ethical Funds, Green Century Funds, ISIS Asset Management, plc, Mennonite Mutual Aid, Neuberger Berman Socially Responsive Investing, Real Assets, Trillium Asset Management Corporation, Pax World Funds, The Pension Boards – UCC / United Church Foundation, Progressive Asset Management, Inc., and Walden Asset Management, a division of Boston Trust & Investment Management
The analyst statement is at http://www.socialinvest.org/areas/research/other/2004-1004GRIreporting.pdf .