21 December 2015: GRI, architect of the world’s sustainability data is convening a new technology consortium to spur on innovations that will foster more inclusive and sustainable economies and businesses. Over the course of next year and beyond, GRI will convene a conversation, among prominent representatives from the tech industry, academia, civil society, the media and consultancies, on how technology and big data can be used to advance the use of sustainability information in business and policy.
The GRI Technology Consortium is an open, collaborative undertaking aimed at moving corporate sustainability “beyond reports” by cultivating new ways of using sustainability data. Unlocking sustainability data and incorporating it into other initiatives is critical for business and policymakers as they work to make progress on big picture agreements such as the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the historic UNFCCC Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Open, accessible, and comparable sustainability data is the key to tracking their progress towards these goals.
“Sustainability data must be liberated from the sustainability reports to provide market access to timely, reliable data to be used to support strategic decision making and better transparency. Consider all that can be learned from the tens of thousands of GRI sustainability reports that have been produced around the world if that data – already in the public domain – was freely available, accessible, and comparable,” said GRI Chief Executive Michael Meehan.
“GRI believes it’s time to move “beyond reports” and focus on the data produced during the sustainability reporting process. But we can’t do this alone – the solution requires a collaborative approach and the consortium will promote this conversation and highlight current and future solutions that use sustainability data and information to enhance decision making for both business and government”
Consortium members come from several sectors – including technology companies, educational institutions, nonprofits/NGOs, and services firms – with the common goal of creating innovations from data to build a more sustainable economy and world.
The consortium’s structure and focus areas will be defined and announced in January 2016 and the preliminary findings and recommendations from the group are expected to be presented at the GRI Global Conference in May 2016 where the members will meet in person.