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As suggested in my previous blog From Social to Cultural Responsibility, I advocate increased cultural sensitivity and protection by organisations operating in close proximity to indigenous or culturally non-westernised populations.
Therefore, I decided to look at how the world’s most used sustainability reporting framework, the GRI, could be used to protect the cultural heritage of indigenous populations. Currently, the GRI indicators that relate most materially to indigenous culture focus on the human rights aspects of organisational interaction with indigenous populations.
The fourth genus of the ever evolving GRI reporting framework is now in the first public comment stage of its conception. This stage is crucial for the framework to maintain its credo of multi-stakeholder consensus based actualisation.
It seems the world of sustainability is on a crash course for hybridisation with annual reporting. The integrated report for many is seen to be as inevitable as globalisation, but would it be the best possible solution for sustainability reporters and their audience? Would a GRI framework for integrated reporting be the best option for most reporters?
Next year’s UN conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro will be my third such event. Already I am torn between disempowering premonitions of a “Rio lite” outcome, which fails to match the substance of its namesake 20 years earlier, and a sense of the historic opportunities it offers.
The 1992 and 2002 conferences were held in a context of rising public and media pressures to address a list of well-documented social, economic and environmental problems. On paper, at least, their outcomes were comprehensive and compelling. Rio’s agenda 21 and Johannesburg’s plan of implementation offered a clear (if dauntingly long) list of challenges and responses. The problem was, however, that few of the political commitments made have been implemented.