19 September 2013 — Global Reporting Initiative Focal Point Australia and Sustainable Business Australia have announced an alliance.

Under their agreement, GRIFPA and SBA will develop the corporate sustainability agenda to include governance on risks associated with social and environmental impacts and the alliance will focus on assisting companies to identify value, to mitigate risks, innovate governance practices and to drive strategy without fear.

GRIFPA and SBA will also be calling for more and better corporate reporting on economic, environmental and social sustainability risks to become standard practice.

The Global Reporting Initiative has pioneered and developed comprehensive sustainability reporting guidelines (the G4) that are widely used by major organisations around the world. SBA is the leading Australian organisation on sustainable development in business in Australia.

“SBA believes that collaboration with an international organisation such as the GRI, which shares common and complementary approaches towards performance and reporting, is critical if business is to accept a global sustainability framework that is transparent, consensus driven, balanced, accountable, credible and independent,” said SBA chief executive Andrew Petersen.

“Uncertain economic times, increasingly global business operations and greater stakeholder demands have marked an inflection point for corporate reporting.  At the same time, business value is heavily influenced by a company’s strategy, plans and operations.

“This alliance will progress ideas on the most appropriate means of corporate reporting by bringing together representatives of corporate Australia, small business, NGOs and the broader community, as well as technical experts and academics.”

Africa Zanella, head of Focal Point Australia for GRI, said it was time to bring all factors that affect business profitability and sustainability out in the open by the implementation of transparent and accountable measures.

The first stage of work for the two organisations will be to discuss the present state of Australian corporate reporting at a Session at the Australian Sustainability Conference and Exhibition 2013, which is being held in Melbourne from 9-10 October.