AMSTERDAM, July 22, 2014 – The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced today that it has appointed Michael Meehan, a veteran sustainability CEO and entrepreneur, has been appointed as the organization’s new Chief Executive. Mr. Meehan has built and managed several successful clean-tech businesses and led critical sustainability reporting projects for governments and multinational companies around the world. He succeeds Ernst Ligteringen who is leaving GRI after 12 years of exceptional leadership.
GRI’s Chairman Christianna Wood outlines how Mr. Meehan is well placed to lead GRI: “Michael has a longstanding commitment to the sustainability field with a strong presence in technology and business reporting. Having demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership, strategic vision, as well as significant management abilities, it is clear to the GRI Board that Michael is the ideal person to lead us forward. Michael shares GRI’s vision of a sustainable global economy and is committed to continuing GRI’s ground-breaking leadership to make sustainability and human rights issues integral parts of how all organizations are managed.”
Mr. Meehan has almost twenty years’ experience in the sustainability field, including sustainable supply chain and carbon/energy reporting technologies. Specializing in bringing innovative corporate sustainability issues and solutions to the public, he has advised a range of stakeholders including investors, startups and governments. A visionary leader and CEO, Mr. Meehan has led companies in several countries, including Carbonetworks (2004-2010) and iVeridis Corporation (2010-2013). Focused on the intersection of innovation and sustainability, he has also advised multinationals worldwide on sustainability issues.
Michael Meehan comments: “I look forward to leading GRI’s executive team and the organization broadly to further strengthen GRI’s role in establishing sustainability reporting as a valuable global standard practice. I believe this is a pivotal time in sustainability reporting where innovation and collaboration are critical components of every organization’s sustainability strategy. GRI will continue playing its role in mainstreaming sustainability disclosures, and ultimately making a significant contribution to global sustainable development.”
GRI’s Chairman Christianna Wood thanks the outgoing Chief Executive Ernst Ligteringen for his contribution to GRI: “GRI will forever be indebted to Ernst Ligteringen for the leadership he has demonstrated over the past 12 years. Over this time, GRI has established itself as an iconic brand in the field of sustainability reporting. Ernst’s accomplishments are myriad. They include the more than 5000 reporting organizations that use GRI’s standards, as well as four generations of standards referenced in 23 countries, and the first class leadership team he has assembled.”
Mr. Meehan’s appointment comes at a crucial juncture for GRI and for sustainability disclosures. In an evolving sustainability reporting landscape, Mr. Meehan will lead GRI in working with new methodologies such as those on natural capital and around integrated reporting, and will drive GRI’s collaboration with global reporting frameworks. He will guide the organization in achieving its mission of making sustainability reporting standard practice worldwide, and promoting the role of sustainability disclosures in addressing global sustainability challenges.
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy. GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Since GRI was established more than fifteen years ago, there has been rapid growth in corporate sustainability reporting. Sustainability reporting is now mainstream amongst the world’s largest companies, and GRI is the de facto global standard. 95% of the largest companies in the world (G250) are now preparing sustainability reports, with 82% of those referring to GRI . Around the world, more companies and their investors and stakeholders are seeking to integrate sustainability considerations in their operations. Governments and other regulators, including stock exchanges, are increasingly developing policies and regulation in this area, and are seeking appropriate frameworks to reference.
GRI is an international not-for-profit organization, with a network-based structure. Its activity involves thousands of professionals and organizations from many sectors, constituencies and regions.