Course Outline

The certified training syllabus is divided into six sections:

Overview: Introduction to the GRI framework and five-step reporting process

  • Presenting the business case for sustainability and its relationship to sustainability reporting

  • GRI Guidelines/Reporting Framework structure and composition

  • Standard report components for inclusion in GRI-based reports

  • GRI Principles for report content and quality

  • Overview of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Process (Phases 1-5)


GRI Phase 1: Prepare

  • Coordinating the reporting process for maximum internal buy-in

  • Organizing for Success - the Team and the Timeline

  • External Influences on Strategy Decisions - Regulations, Certifications, Evaluations...

  • Definition of report scope, boundary and time period

  • Getting Started - Linking Business Goals and Sustainability Impacts


GRI Phase 2: Connect

  • Importance of stakeholder engagement to the reporting process

  • Stakeholder identification and prioritization

  • Effective stakeholder communication

GRI Phase 3: Define

  • Identifying material (relevant) sustainability issues for action and reporting

  • Evaluating existing monitoring systems for realistic goal-setting

  • Setting goals and performance targets

  • Appropriately reviewing and modifying internal policies and procedures

  • Reviewing existing monitoring systems for realistic goal-setting


GRI Phase 4: Monitor

  • The GRI Indicators and Protocols - GRI's guidance on what to measure and how to measure it

  • Checking processes and monitoring activities

  • Ensuring quality of information


GRI Phase 5: Communicate

  • Communication tactics and formats

  • Maximizing internal and external report value

  • Options for incorporating sustainability reporting into a traditional annual report

  • Designing a report for clarity and readability

  • GRI Application Levels and external assurance of report information


What You'll Learn


By the end of this course, you will be able to:


  • Make arguments for the business case for reporting.

  • List the steps to plan and present a reporting process.

  • Give examples of links between everyday organizational activities and their economic, social and environmental impacts based on their own current experience and context.

  • Recognize some self-assessment tools for initial evaluation of such impacts.

  • Identify the Global Compact Principles and explain how they can be used in the initial evaluation of aspects to report.

  • Identify the goals of the kick off meeting.

  • Identify priority stakeholders in their context and explain why.

  • Justify why stakeholders' input is critical for the success of the reporting process.

  • Explain the difference between a GRI category, GRI aspect and a GRI indicator.

  • Decide on appropriate ways to consult stakeholders about issues to report.

  • Explain what the GRI materiality principle is and its role to select the indicators for action and to report.

  • Explain and give examples of the GRI reporting principles for defining content.

  • Recognize what decisions about the report content need to be taken by decision makers before monitoring.