ELIA has been providing technical and advisory services to organizations in Mauritius to carry out Corporate Sustainability (CS) reporting using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework since 2011.
Omnicane Ltd is the first wholly-owned Mauritian company to subscribe to the GRI Sustainability Reporting framework. ELIA provided technical consultancy services to Omnicane Ltd for their Sustainability Report 2010 and 2011, and their first Integrated Report 2012. ELIA has also provided consultancy/advisory services to the Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD) for preparing its first Integrated Annual Report 2012/2013 using the G3.1 guidelines and protocols.
We are currently supporting Terra Ltd in completing an Integrated Report 2012 using the G3.1 guidelines and protocols. ELIA has also provided peer-review services to the Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) regarding its methodology for a Sustainability Index that draws from the GRI reporting framework. We are now a formal member of the SEM Technical Committee based on our previous reviews.
Our approach at ELIA for sustainability reporting is one of empowering our clients to do their sustainability reporting in-house through a ‘learning-by-doing’ methodology. We believe that sustainability reporting is a strategic tool that should not be outsourced but that should rather be internalized in the way of doing business.
GRI G4 Workshop Mauritius – 5 November 2013
ELIA has been invited to participate in a national workshop to be held on 5 November 2013 for the launching of the G4 Guidelines of the GRI in Mauritius. This workshop is organised by MIoD and sponsored by Omnicane Ltd.
To contribute to the discussion, we took this opportunity to develop an ELIA position paper containing commentaries on the:
- Performance of companies to implement the generic features of the GRI Guidelines and Protocols;
- Features of the newly developed G4 Guidelines; and
- The political economy of Corporate Sustainability reporting.
You may download this position paper here for further reading: Commentary on implementation of GRI for CSR and G4 – ELIA – November 2013
Stakeholder inclusiveness and engagement
As part of the new GRI G4 Guidelines, there is a lot of emphasis on stakeholder inclusiveness & engagement:
“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests … Stakeholders can include those who are invested in the organization (such as employees, shareholders, suppliers) as well as those who have other relationships to the organization (such as vulnerable groups within local communities, civil society) … The reasonable expectations and interests of stakeholders are a key reference point for many decisions in the preparation of the report… When the process of stakeholder engagement is used for reporting purposes, it should be based on systematic or generally accepted approaches, methodologies, or principles. The overall approach should be sufficiently effective to ensure that stakeholders’ information needs are properly understood. It is important that the process of stakeholder engagement is capable of identifying direct input from stakeholders as well as legitimately established societal expectations.” (P.9-10).” Source: GRI G4 Implementation Manual.
From February to June 2012, ELIA organised and facilitated together with local volunteers in Mauritius the Rio+20 Global Dialogues for Mauritius. Over this period 15 dialogues were organised and facilitated engaging representatives from most of the Major Groups as defined by the United Nations System and important stakeholders. These dialogues brought together close to 700 people from all kinds of cultural, professional, and socio-economic backgrounds.. The methodology applied for these dialogues was designed by ELIA and based on envisioning the future of a sustainable society and backcasting from this envisioned future to present reality to assess the necessary actions for achieving those future outcomes.
The dialogues revealed that stakeholder engagement in Mauritius was rarely designed for in a systemic way, with institutional design on a national level largely missing for feed-in mechanisms from multi-stakeholder input. ELIA has been conducting research on institutional design for sustainability and we will be sharing these research outcomes soon, to raise awareness about these institutional barriers for achieving sustainability and how institutional design for sustainability would look like.
In 2012 we learned many valuable lessons with regards to institutional design for sustainability, including design for stakeholder engagement. We are applying these valuable insights also in our corporate sustainability reporting services using the GRI G4 frameworks and principles.
We look forward to a fruitful discussion on 5 November to discuss and explore with others the use and application of the GRI G4 Guidelines for organizations in Mauritius and the Indian Ocean Region. We believe that the GRI framework provides an effective and powerful strategic tool for organizations to make concrete their commitment to sustainable development.