Submitted by: International Finance Corporation
Posted: Sep 17, 2008 – 03:58 PM EST
WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 17, 2008 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to launch a 12-month research and consultation project to help private enterprises worldwide create new opportunities for women, adopt best practices in sustainability reporting, and improve their bottom lines.
The project is expected to help develop a Gender Sustainability Reporting Resource Guide that will complement the GRI's innovative Sustainability Reporting Framework, the most widely used and recognized global framework for nonfinancial reporting. The GRI framework links elements of effective sustainability management systems with indicators that can drive continuous improvement of company performance.
The new guide is intended for companies that want to establish themselves as leaders in managing gender issues. It will demonstrate the value of creating business opportunities for women, provide guidance on improving gender management through sustainability reporting, and help improve the quality and scope of gender reporting by including new categories such as "women as consumers," "women as entrepreneurs in the supply chain," and "women as part of the community."
Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said, "Adding a gender perspective to existing nonfinancial reporting frameworks will help private companies win recognition as diversity leaders by workers, investors and consumers. From a business perspective, the benefits of reporting on gender can hardly be underestimated, as it has been shown to help companies in recruiting, retaining, and motivating female employees, allowing them to take full advantage of the change in business mentality. Research also shows that representation of women in management roles is linked to strong corporate financial performance."
"The business case for including gender in sustainability reporting is clear," said Sean Gilbert, Director of Sustainability Reporting Framework at GRI. "Through this partnership with IFC, we are responding to a strong demand from stakeholders. We will provide practical, hands-on guidance for reporting on gender issues through extensive consultations with our global network."
This project is part of a larger IFC-GRI partnership to help companies adopt sustainability reporting as a tool for improving environmental, social, and business performance. The governments of Germany, Iceland, and Switzerland are lead sponsors of the project.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Global Reporting Initiative
The Global Reporting Initiative is a network of thousands of experts from business, civil society, labor, and professional institutions in more than 60 countries. GRI pioneered the development of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework, and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide. Its vision is that corporate reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance should become as routine and comparable as financial reporting.. For more information, visit www.globalreporting.org.
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