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[GreenYes] Fwd: CERES & Tellus new Facility Reporting Project

>Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2002 16:35:29 -0500
>From: CERES <admin@ceres.org>
>
>GROUPS TO DEVELOP FACILITY-LEVEL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL CORPORATE 
>REPORTING STANDARD
>
>Contacts:
>Nicole St. Clair, CERES (617) 247-0700, stclair@ceres.org
>Mark Stoughton, Tellus Institute (617) 266-5400, mstoughton@tellus.org
>
>BOSTON  ‹In an effort to enhance public disclosure of environmental and 
>social performance, CERES and the Tellus Institute announced today the 
>launch of the FACILITY REPORTING PROJECT (FRP).
>
>The FRP is a multistakeholder initiative to develop a generally accepted
>framework for facility-level and site-specific environmental and social
>sustainability reporting. The framework will be compatible to the greatest
>extent possible with the corporate-level voluntary sustainability reporting
>guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a global
>effort at standardizing corporate-wide reporting on these issues. The FRP 
>is independent of, but will be carried out in formal consultation with, the
>GRI.
>
>Initial funding for the initiative will be provided by the Chicago-based
>Joyce Foundation, a major funder of environmental initiatives affecting the
>Great Lakes region.
>
>A generally accepted facility-level reporting standard is needed, its
>sponsors say, because facility-level reporting, where it exists, is
>fragmented and highly variable. Poor comparability and accessibility of
>facility-level environmental and social information makes it difficult for
>concerned groups to assess how manufacturing plants, distribution centers 
>and other business and institutional facilities affect their communities 
>and the local environment. Businesses and institutions seeking to 
>benchmark and improve their environmental and social performance are 
>likewise handicapped.
>
>"Company-wide environmental reports are often of limited value to 
>community groups concerned about a particular facility's impact in their 
>community, while virtually no data are available on the social impact of 
>individual facilities," said Dr. Mark Stoughton, FRP Project Manager at 
>Tellus.  "While an increasing amount of statutorily reported 
>facility-level environmental information is available on-line, much 
>remains in paper files at regulatory agencies, and it is often presented 
>in ways that are not meaningful or relevant to the public. And little 
>information is available regarding unregulated environmental concerns such 
>as contribution to global climate change, water use, and sprawling 
>development."
>
>"The lack of reporting standard also inhibits efforts, even those internal
>to the company, toward improvement of environmental and social 
>performance," said Iain Watt, Corporate Accountability Specialist for 
>CERES.  "Government agencies that want to recognize and encourage high 
>performing facilities through voluntary, beyond-compliance programs have 
>very little basis for comparing facilities.  Forward-thinking firms and 
>facilities that wish to report on sustainability performance and the 
>facility level have to start from scratch in creating reporting 
>frameworks, and the results may not be comparable or perceived as legitimate."
>
>According to both groups, standardized facility-level sustainability
>reporting is needed to produce information that is accurate, accessible,
>sufficient, comparable, interpretable and trusted. Broad reporting under
>such a framework will:
>
>- Provide a far stronger basis for assessment and decision-making on the
>part of the public, government, investors, and the facilities themselves,
>allowing these actors to track sustainability performance over time for
>individual facilities, sectors, or geographic areas.
>
>- Give facilities choosing to report an accepted reporting model, reducing
>the costs of devising reporting frameworks from scratch, and increasing
>credibility with the public, especially the activist public.
>
>- Empower community organizations in interactions with individual
>facilities.
>
>- Enable government and facility managers to identify successes worthy of 
>replication far more easily.
>
>The framework will be the product of a 12­15 member expert panel drawn 
>from environmental, civil society and labor organizations, business, and
>academics, and will be informed by a broad stakeholder consultation 
>process. CERES and Tellus will offer technical support to this process and 
>facilitate the stakeholder consultation. Dr. Shelley Metzenbaum is joining 
>the CERES/Tellus team as a senior consultant.
>
>This project is independent of, but will be carried out in formal
>consultation with the Amsterdam-based and newly independent Global 
>Reporting Initiative (GRI; www.globalreporting.org), which was originally 
>convened by CERES & UNEP, with technical support from Tellus. The 
>framework will be compatible to the greatest extent possible with the 
>corporate-level voluntary sustainability reporting guidelines developed by 
>the GRI.
>
>The first phase of the project will include technical research on
>benchmarking of existing efforts & selection of expert panel. The project 
>is actively seeking facility-level reporting examples/experiences from
>practitioners, including those using the GRI Guidelines for facility-level
>reporting.
>
>The initial research and development phase will be followed by the release 
>of an exposure draft of framework, broad consultation and call for input 
>electronically and via workshops and meetings.
>
>Comments from the exposure draft process will be used to develop revised 
>guidelines and facility beta-tests, with the last phase to include the 
>final framework revision & endorsement campaign.
>
>Project documents and additional contact information are available on the
>FRP website, www.facilityreporting.org. As the initiative develops, the
>website will be a central mechanism for implementing the FRPšs 
>participatory process.
>
>More information about participating organizations:
>
>CERES (http://www.ceres.org). Formed in 1989 out of an unprecedented
>partnership among some of America's largest socially responsible
>institutional investors and environmental groups, CERES, or the Coalition
>for Environmentally Responsible Economies, has pioneered an innovative, 
>practical approach to advancing corporate accountability through public 
>reporting and stakeholder engagement. Among its 70 members, the Coalition 
>includes AFL-CIO, Calvert Group, Conservation International, Domini Social 
>Investments, Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, Interfaith 
>Center on Corporate Responsibility, National Wildlife Federation, Walden 
>Asset Management, and World Wildlife Fund. CERES is the institutional home 
>of the CERES Principles, a 10-point code of corporate environmental 
>conduct. Over 60 companies have endorsed the Principles including: 
>American Airlines, Bank of America, Ben and Jerry's Homemade, General 
>Motors, Ford Motor Company,
>Nike, Sunoco, and Timberland.
>
>In 1997, CERES co-founded the Global Reporting Initiative, an 
>international, multi-stakeholder effort to create a common framework for 
>reporting the economic, environmental and social impacts of corporate 
>activity. The GRI, which in 2002 became an independent organization, 
>incorporates the active participation of businesses, accountancy, human 
>rights, environmental, labor and governmental organizations from around 
>the world. CERES is uniquely positioned to provide needed models for the 
>business and advocacy communities to work together on environmental and 
>sustainability issues.
>
>Tellus Institute (http://www.tellus.org). Tellus Institute is a non-profit
>research and consulting organization focused on sustainability.  Founded 
>in 1976, the Institutešs projects address sustainability issues in such 
>areas as energy, water, waste, land-use, manufacture, agriculture, social 
>justice and corporate accountability, public policy, business strategy, 
>and civic activism. Using state-of-the-art methods, Tellus analyzes 
>evolving problems, evaluates options for technological and institutional 
>change, develops and disseminates decision-making support tools, and works 
>directly with private sector, government, multilateral and non-profit 
>organizations in piloting and implementation. The Institutešs professional 
>staff of 40 consists of economists, policy analysts, planners, engineers 
>and scientists.
>
>Joyce Foundation (http://www.joycefdn.org) Based in Chicago with assets of 
>$750 million, the Joyce Foundation supports efforts to strengthen public 
>policies in ways that improve the quality of life in the Midwest.  Joyce 
>has been a long-time funder of efforts to protect the natural environment 
>of the Great Lakes.  It supports groups working to improve public policies 
>in air and water quality, agriculture, energy, transportation and land 
>use. Other program areas are Education,Employment, Gun Violence 
>Prevention, Money and Politics, and Culture.

Gary Liss
916-652-7850
Fax: 916-652-0485

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