From the 23rd to the 25th of May, the 5th GRI Global Conference was held in Amsterdam. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is an internationally recognized standard for sustainability reporting. Such conference gathered more than 1,200 attendees interested in sustainability and was an opportunity to discuss current sustainability hot topics. DFGE chose to focus on the role of technology in reporting, the SDGs and climate risks. No need to mention that DFGE is also participating in the GRI GOLD Community.
Technology leads to more transparency and more data
The third plenary session of the GRI 2016 conference was focused on ‘Using Sustainability Data to Enable Transformational Change “. In this sense, technology plays a key-role as it enabled organizations to disclose much more data, through various channels, to reach various stakeholders. Technology can then help fostering more transparency, and such transparency is believed to lead to more transformation change.
To focus on technology, GRI has launched an initiative called Digital Reporting Alliance to address digital reporting. “The initiative will create the technical infrastructure for digital reporting by promoting an XBRL taxonomy and a platform for filing digital reports”
DFGE also believes that sharing data is paramount, and that technology should be leveraged in this sense. Our EcoDashboard is a cloud-based solution that enables organizations to store and research their sustainability information. For more information, please go to: https://dfge.de/en/sustainability-intelligence/.
SDGs: companies are needed to achieve such goals
In our recent blog posts, DFGE has shown that the inputs of companies are required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Worldwide sustainability agenda for the next 15 years to come. Such framework is first aiming at countries and governments. However, collaboration between public and private worlds is expected to achieve such targets. This opinion was also shared by the conference attendees: iIn an audience poll, 60% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that business is better prepared and equipped to make the SDGs happen, rather than governments. Investors came out as the most likely constituency group to hold businesses accountable for progress on the SDGs compared with governments, civil society and competitors, according to 38% of the audience.” Such findings lead DFGE to believe that it is important that companies partner with their stakeholders and disclose data on how they address such topics with their sustainability strategy and its implementation. 
To read more posts about SDGs please consult: https://dfge.de/define-your-sustainable-procurement-strategy-with-the-sdgs/, https://dfge.de/sdgs-a-topic-of-interest-for-companies/ , https://dfge.de/companies-are-key-to-the-success-of-the-sustainable-development-goals/
Climate risks: demand for more disclosure
The session Tackling Climate Risk: Data & Decision Making for Business and Government was the opportunity to focus on the link between providing data and managing risks.
Investors expressed their needs for more risks and opportunities to be identified and quantified. In this sense, DFGE recommends companies to disclose such topics through their sustainability reporting and through CDP, where companies can report on their climate risks and related emissions through a questionnaire which will then be rated by CDP experts.
DFGE also thinks that climate change is a paramount topic to address, and a key sustainability challenge right now. The Paris Agreement has shown an international will to move things forwards, or shall we say, to slow things down by reducing GHG emissions. According to scientific researches, the goal would be to keep the rise of temperature to only 2°C compared to the pre-industrial era. In this sense, companies can also participate. Indeed, organizations can set science-based targets, a way to explain how their target are aligned such scenario.
Read more about SBTs (In German): https://dfge.de/science-based-targets-cdp-treibt-unternehmen-zur-umsetzung/ , https://dfge.de/science-based-targets-sectoral-decarbonization-approach-klimareporting-de-veroffentlicht-info-papier-auf-deutsch/ or contact us at
To read the full overview: https://www.globalreporting.org/information/news-and-press-center/Pages/Turning-vision-into-action-at-the-5th-GRI-Global-Conference.aspx?dm_i=4J5,49HDE,LP4UW0,FKMZ3,1