Professional reporting on sustainability
For reporting, the Uelzena Group uses the globally recognised GRI guidelines in its current version: the “GRI Standards”. As a modular system consisting of 36 standards with a total of almost 500 pages, these standards form the basis for GRI-reporting organisations.
The Uelzena Group started its sustainability reports in 2014. The management deliberately opted to closely align its reports with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) because specific criteria make it easier for the company to manage sustainability. Moreover, uniform information on the performance of companies make comparisons easier and with that comes transparency for the stakeholders.
On a worldwide scale, no other standard is used as much as the GRI guidelines. This is a decisive advantage for the Uelzena Group because most of their customers are international corporations from the food industry. Another factor contributing to the good reputation of the GRI is that the renowned United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was involved in its development.
Current version: GRI Standards
Since their first draft, the GRI Standards have been subject to ongoing review. Its evolution into the current version of the GRI Standards does not mean a departure from previous versions. As a modular system, the new version of the GRI Standards can be continually expanded without needing to revise the full set of standards. The specified year defines the year of publication of the respective GRI Standards. For example: GRI 303: Water and wastewater 2018. This makes allocating adjustments clearer in future. In addition to universal standards, there are topic-specific modules on economic and social topics as well as environmental topics. The GRI Guidelines feature the following:
- Central reporting guidelines apply; this includes stakeholder engagement. The selected themes of the report must also be significant and embedded in a broader sustainability context. Furthermore, the company should cover the topics completely.
- Reporting principles for defining report content and quality apply. This means the reporting must be precise, balanced and comprehensive. Content and information must be of high quality, comparable, up-to-date and reliable.
- Selection and analysis of essential topics performed are based on a materiality analysis, which follows a plausible and transparent process.
- Each defined topic will be managed – with strategic goals, effective actions and a frequent evaluation of what has been achieved. These management approaches are also the central and structural reporting element.
- Each GRI reporting organisation must explain whether it reports according to the "Core" or "Comprehensive" option. These options are based on a table with criteria that need to be met, but which differ in quantitative and qualitative aspects. In addition, at the preliminary stage, there is the possibility of reporting "according to GRI".
- Relevant additional criteria from guidelines typical for a certain industry are available - for the Uelzena Group these are “food processing” criteria.
- Companies are also allowed to develop their own topics and criteria as long as they comply with the GRI quality principles.
The Uelzena Group 2019 report is also based on the “Core” option.