G&A Institute Contributes to Carrots & Sticks III (2013 Edition) Sustainability Reporting Policies Worldwide – Today’s Best Practice, Tomorrows Trends

Posted on August 8, 2013 by Louis Coppola


The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in collaboration with KPMG, UNEP, Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa and various stakeholders from each country studied recently released the third edition of the “Carrots & Sticks” publication.  This important publication analyzes the growing number of national and international reporting policies and guidance from around the world.
The first edition of Carrots and Sticks covered developments in 19 countries; the second, 32 countries: This third edition covers 45 countries and regions. In the seven years of the series, the amount of policy and regulation has markedly increased. This includes a notable increase in the number of mandatory reporting measures. In 2006, 58 percent of policies were mandatory; now, more than two thirds (72 percent) of the 180 policies in the 45 reviewed countries are mandatory
The Governance & Accountability Institute’s Hank Boerner (Chairman and CEO) and Louis Coppola (Executive Vice President) assisted GRI with developing the United States content section in the report.  A Fellow of the G&A Institute – Linda Lowson of CSR Insights – provided additional support and invaluable input into the US regulatory environment.
Among the current regulations and policies discussed by G&A in the US section are:

  • Dodd-Frank Act, 2010
  • Presidential Executive Order 13514
  • Regulation S-K, 2010
  • EEO-1 Survey
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002
  • Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
  • California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, 2010
  • USEPA Proposed Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

In the future we are sure to see this trend of Sustainability reporting regulations and policies increasing.  As countries begin to develop their own policies around this important subject this research can be very useful in learning by example.
Based on the report the major developmental trends around the world were:

  • Continued and growing interest in regulation, including corporate governance and disclosure requirements.
  • An increase in the number of countries becoming involved in the sustainability reporting policy arena, including developing countries.
  • An increasing number of policies inspired by or based on a ‘report or explain’ approach.
  • Growing reference to existing sustainability and reporting frameworks, and the continuing emergence of new frameworks.
  • A consistent focus on large and state-owned companies, yet voluntary reporting by SMEs is increasing.
  • Sustainability reporting has become a listing requirement on several stock exchanges in non-OECD countries.
  • The United Nations is now also asking governments to stimulate sustainability reporting by developing best practice and smart regulation.
  • In their introduction of policies, regulation and guidelines, governments are striving to harmonize the use of multiple frameworks.

G&A Institute is proud to be a contributor to this important study – please download your full copy here.