GRI: Our reporting standard for sustainability
Reporting Standards develop precise and consistent criteria for the sustainability reporting of organizations. This makes it easier on customers, shareholders, employees and partners to compare and assess the performance.
The GRI Guidelines are the most used reporting standards throughout the world. They have been developed by an independent international organization, the Global Reporting Initiative. The United Nations Environment Program, amongst others, was involved in its establishment.
Standards create benchmarks
Standards and guidelines establish consistent reporting criteria and thus allow the comparison of performance. Another advantage: Defined criteria make the theoretical concept of sustainability comprehensible and measurable - and with that practicable and feasible for the management in a company.
Our reporting is also done in accordance with the GRI Guidelines. Despite the fact that there are alternative methods available, the Uelzena Group as a global company considers it reasonable to use the worldwide leading standard. In this way we are reaching as many international stakeholder groups as possible with our sustainability reporting. The reports are comparable and offer true assistance in guidance and decision-making.
Further development from G4 to "Global Reporting Standard"
Since its establishment in 1997, the GRI organization has continuously revised its guidelines. The Uelzena Group applies the current version, the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Added to that there are additional criteria that have been developed specifically for the food industry (Food Processing).
At the end of 2016, the G4 Guidelines experienced a comprehensive review and were then republished as the “Global Reporting Standard”. This revision did not incorporate any fundamental changes when compared to G4. The Guidelines were carefully and in some points further developed. Many new features are aimed at improving comprehension, for example by using more plausible names and a clear-cut structure. The G4 Guidelines will expire in mid-2018; from that date, the GRI Standard will apply.
Some designations were changed. For example, GRI Aspects are now called “Topics”; GRI Indicators have been renamed “Disclosures”. Moreover, the new topics will be allocated to new categories and individual disclosures will be combined. Added to that companies will be allowed to officially report “based on” GRI only and to focus on certain topics as far as they indicate this correspondingly.
Central fields remained unchanged: reporting principles, focus on essential topics for each management approach and indicators as well as the reporting options "Core” and “Comprehensive”.
After publishing three printed and online sustainability reports, the participating parties from the Uelzena Group are analyzing their current work taking into consideration the feedback from stakeholders. We are considering the best way to inform the relevant and interested stakeholders on our sustainability developments. The question as to whether there will still be annual reporting in the future, either in printed form or online available at uelzena.de only, was still being discussed at the time of the editorial deadline of this report.