Guidelines for Triple Bottom Line Reporting: the Global Reporting Initiative

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Guidelines for Triple Bottom Line Reporting: the Global Reporting Initiative
Anneke Zwart, Student (University), Netherlands

One of the mechanisms that encourages businesses and corporations to develop in a sustainable way is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), consisting of guidelines for Triple Bottom Line reporting. This initiative was developed with a mission to establish a globally applicable sustainability reporting framework for reporting on economic, social and environmental performance. More specifically this globally applicable framework (GRI) aims to assist organizations on the following points:
  1. Support organizations to report reliable and important information to stakeholders, thereby promoting dialogue and inquiry.
  2. To assist organizations in reporting through well-developed and consistent principles that can be applied from one time to another.
  3. Facilitate the reader understanding of the reports and enables to compare reports of various organizations.
  4. Support organizations to report in a way that enables management across different organizations to improve internal decision making because of valuable insights into different organizations.
The guidelines are divided into the 3 components of the Triple Bottom Line:
  • ECONOMIC (Profit): for example labor productivity rates; human capital investments.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL (Planet): for example recycling and energy use numbers.
  • SOCIAL (People): for example job satisfaction and employee retention rates.
Source: Goldsworthy, A. (2000) “The Triple Bottom Line: Shareholders, Society and Sustainability” Business/Higher Education Round Table



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