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GRI launches its Focal Point USA

Sustainability leaders from Avon, NYSE Euronext and Bloomberg are among the speakers at the official launch of GRI's Focal Point USA at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, January 31, 2011

Published 01-30-11

Submitted by Global Reporting Initiative

GRI's latest global expansion, Focal Point USA, will be officially launched at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday 31 January 2011.

The Focal Point USA began operations in October 2010. Led by Director Mike Wallace, the Focal Point aims to address the needs of the unique marketplace in the USA, and to boost the quality and quantity of sustainability reports coming from US organizations.

The rapidly upward trend in sustainability reporting globally, and particularly in Europe, has not been mirrored in the USA. GRI's Chief Executive, Ernst Ligteringen, and speakers from Bloomberg, Avon, UPS, Marriott and NYSE Euronext will gather at the New York Stock Exchange this month to discuss: "Why is America letting the world lead in sustainability reporting?"

The live webcast from 8:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST can be seen at

The GRI Reports List highlights sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports produced using the GRI Guidelines, and the resulting statistics can be indicative of wider trends in reporting. In 2008, less than 14 percent of the sustainability reports listed on the GRI Reports List were from US companies, and this percentage was even lower in 2009, at 12.2 percent. In comparison, 45 percent of the reports in both 2008 and 2009 came from European organizations.

Mike Wallace explains: "We are facing some tough sustainability challenges today--resource depletion, climate change, gender issues. If we want to move towards a sustainable economy, we need to monitor and be transparent about the impact we’re having on the world.

"Globally, sustainability reporting has increased dramatically, but companies in the US are taking longer to respond to the trend. This could be down to organizations resisting the disclosure of voluntary information, to minimize the risk of legal consequences, or because of the already stringent rules US companies need to adhere to on the financial side of their businesses. Either way, it is now time for the US to take stock and publicly reflect on some very important sustainability issues.

"We expect to see a rise in the number of reports based on the GRI Guidelines this year. GRI's mission is to mainstream ESG reporting globally. GRI's new Focal Point USA is in place to support US companies with the ambition to the lead the way to a sustainable economy. This month's event marks the start of a new era in sustainability reporting in the USA, and we look forward to exploring the new horizon with US companies."

About Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization that has pioneered the development of the world's most widely used sustainability reporting framework and is committed to its continuous improvement and application worldwide.

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Global Reporting Initiative

Global Reporting Initiative

The Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) vision is that reporting on economic, environmental, and social performance by all organizations becomes as routine and comparable as financial reporting. GRI accomplishes this vision by developing, continually improving, and building capacity around the use of its Sustainability Reporting Framework.

An international network of thousands from business, civil society, labor, and professional institutions create the content of the Reporting Framework in a consensus-seeking process.

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