The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
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Nick Sherry

Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law

3 December 2007 - 8 June 2009

Media Release of 05/02/2009

NO.008

Australian Representative to Join Global Reporting Initiative

Senator Nick Sherry, the Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, has today announced that a senior Australian Treasury official is to be appointed to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Governmental Advisory Group.

"Australia is honoured to accept the invitation from the Governmental Advisory Group of the GRI as an important step in stating our commitment to the importance of non-financial reporting," Minister Sherry said.

"Australian membership of the Governmental Advisory Group of the GRI will provide an opportunity for the Australian Government to play a role in the development of the GRI sustainability reporting framework indicators and gain greater awareness of international moves in corporate responsibility policy," said Minister Sherry.

The GRI is a global not-for-profit organisation based in Amsterdam, governed by an international multi-stakeholder board, which promotes the importance of non-financial reporting. The GRI's vision is that reporting on environmental and social performance by all organisations will be as routine and comparable as financial reporting.

The GRI has emerged as the "gold standard" for corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. Its sustainability reporting framework is supported by extensive guidelines to assist organisations to disclose their sustainability performance.

"It's clear to me that the true value of corporate responsibility crystallises around effective reporting. Companies reporting their sustainability risks and strategies for managing those risks provide valuable information to both the market and broader community of the impacts of their corporate activities," Minister Sherry said.

Minister Sherry noted that the appointment to the Governmental Advisory Group of the GRI further advanced the Rudd Government's objective of encouraging companies to integrate sustainable, responsible business practices into their business operations.

Minister Sherry also welcomed the appointment of Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre, to the GRI Board of Directors. "I am confident that Dr Longstaff and our Australian Government representative will bring independent and innovative thinking to the table."

CANBERRA
5 February, 2009