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Global eSustainability Initiative to Identify Material Issues for the Information and Communications Technology Industry

Submitted by: Business for Social Responsibility

Categories: Clean Technology, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jun 26, 2007 – 10:00 PM EST

 

Jun. 26 /CSRwire/ - - June 20, 2007 - The Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI) – an initiative of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies aimed at improving the sustainability impact of the ICT industry – today announced its intention to identify the most material social and environmental issues for the sector.

"It is critical that we prioritize our most significant risks and opportunities if we are to maximize the contribution the ICT industry can make to sustainable development," said Luis Neves, Chair of GeSI. "This process will inform the future strategies of both GeSI and its member companies."

While companies leading corporate responsibility efforts seek to maximize their sustainability contribution by prioritizing their most material issues, there is a lack of consensus for identifying issues that are most material for the ICT industry as a whole. GeSI intends to fill this void.

Identifying material issues in the ICT sector is increasingly important given the industry’s rapid move toward convergence of previously separate ICT products and services – such as web surfing over phones or TV over the Internet, for example.

GeSI has commissioned Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to run the materiality process. BSR is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to create a more just and sustainable economy by working with companies to promote responsible business practices, innovation and collaboration.

"The decision by GeSI to take an industry-wide approach to materiality is a significant innovation," said Dunstan Hope, the Director of BSR’s ICT team. "As well as prioritizing material issues, we hope and expect that further opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration will come to the forefront during the process."

The outcome of the materiality process will be a list of issues that are potentially material to all companies in the ICT sector. These issues will be:

  • Global

  • Informed by consultation with stakeholders, for example through a series of multi-stakeholder dialogues

  • Focused on those areas where the ICT sector can make the most substantial contribution to sustainable development

  • Categorized by ICT industry sub-sectors such as consumer electronics, service providers, Internet and equipment manufacturing.

  • Forward looking, which is particularly important given the speed of development in the ICT industry

    The outcome is intended to deliver the following benefits:

  • Companies can support their own materiality processes and assist in the development of sustainability reports and strategies.

  • Investment analysts gain understanding of the issues considered most material to companies in the ICT sector, and thereby assist analysts in their research of and engagement with the ICT sector.

  • GeSI can focus the development of its own future strategy and work plan to cover those issues most material to the ICT sector.

    The results of the materiality process will be published in early 2008.

    About Global eSustainability Initiative

    GeSI is an initiative of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies, with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and International Telecommunication Union. As the collective voice of its members, GeSI aims to influence the sustainability debate, inform the public of its members' voluntary actions to improve their sustainability performance, and prompt information and communicate technologies that foster sustainable development. For more information visit www.gesi.org.

    About Business for Social Responsibility

    Since 1992, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has been providing socially responsible business solutions to many of the world’s leading corporations. Headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in Europe, China and Hong Kong, BSR is a nonprofit business association that serves its 250 member companies and other Global 1000 enterprises. Through advisory services, convenings and research, BSR works with corporations and concerned stakeholders of all types to create a more just and sustainable global economy. For more information, visit www.bsr.org.

  • For more information, please contact:

    Phone: +1-650-948-2544
    Website: www.gesi.org
    Phone: +1-415-984-3233
    Website: www.bsr.org

     

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