Changes: Global Reporting Initiative (2016-08-26):

The GRI G4 Guidelines will transition to GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (SRS), also called GRI Standards. In this article, DFGE wants to give you an overview of the process, of the main changes and the next steps before the final transition.

The process (as of the 21st of June)

  • Public exposure from 19th of April to 17th of July 2016
  • Anticipated approval from 30 of August-1st September
  • Expected release of the standards: October 2016
  • Proposed transition period: until the 31st of December 2017




Key Stakeholders of a Company:
its Employees

If employees are not engaged, CSR becomes an exercise in public relations.

Employee · Engagement

CSR strategies, sustainability reports and the integration of ecological and social values in vision and mission are very often addressed to external stakeholder groups rather than to one of the key stakeholders of a company: its employees. It is a missed opportunity if own employees don’t know what is going on, as they are the most valuable brand advocates of a company and CSR measurements are becoming more credible for external stakeholders when shared by all employees.

CSR – HR = PR. If employees are not engaged, Corporate Social Responsibility becomes an exercise in public relations. The credibility of an organisation will become damaged when it becomes evident that a company is not ‘walking the talk’. […]

10 Reasons Secrecy Is a Bad Idea at Work

Open communication leads to stronger, more nimble organizations.
By Geoffrey James, Contributing editor,


Only mediocre managers feel the need to keep secrets from their employees.

What do you think of CSR managers, who even hide reports on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from their employees?

Checking Reporting Attitude

Each year, PWC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG check annual reports of their clients. As a part of this business, the “Big Four” also audit the increasingly important “sustainability” chapters of their clients’ reports. Here organizations assessed by the Big Four often present their “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR).

 When checking an organizations’ annual report, the EcoVadis Premium Report is an interesting source of information to auditors. The assessed client probably is proud to mention an EcoVadis “Gold” award in the annual report.

To auditors: Use the EcoVadis Premium Report to assess your client’s reporting attitude.

 Auditors can use the EcoVadis Report in at least two ways:

  • The content of the report gives auditors a good and well structured overview on how their audited client has presented the CRS mamagement to EcoVadis. That is the usual way to use the EcoVadis Premium Report.
  • The application of the report shows to auditors, which attitude their assessed client has to transparency. If the organization discloses the EcoVadis Premium Report to clients only, but refuses to disclose that report to the own employees, you as an auditor know, that there probably something is wrong with the report. As an employer, the assessed organization may want to avoid that employees scrutinize the report with their insider knowledge. That attitude of the assessed organization towards reporting also may affect what your client reports to you on other matters.

 Thus, not only the EcoVadis Premium Report itself but also the way how your client uses it, helps you as an auditor to assess the transparency and credibility of your client’s reporting.

 However, there may be legitimate reasons not to disclose an EcoVadis report. If your client claims to have a legitimate reason not to disclose at least the chapter “LABOR PRACTICES & HUMAN RIGHTS (LAB)” to the employees, let the client explain to you, which parts exactly of that chapter should not be disclosed and why these parts of the EcoVadis Premium Report should not be disclosed to the own employees, even though they obviously hold a stake in their employer’s CSR. There is a legitimate “need to know” on the side of the employees.

CSR Evaluation and Corporate Hypocrisy

Syracuse University

The Role of Ethical Evaluation of Corporate Social
Responsibility in the Perception of Corporate
Hypocrisy, the Intention of Opinioned
Communication and Behavior toward a Firm

KyuJin Shim

Corporate hypocrisy refers to publics’ negative perception of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as a result of ethical attribution of CSR to normative ethics, and thus can be a useful indicator of the disappointing and ineffective role of CSR programs geared toward raising publics’ goodwill toward a firm. However, scant scholarly effort has been made to explore the concept of corporate hypocrisy in relation to corporate issues and crises, publics’ ethical orientation, cultural and national influence, and polarized sentiments toward global business in the media landscape. These aspects collectively constitute the unpredictable, uncontrollable public opinion, in particular the opinion of the socially minded general public, and these aspects thus generate a turbulent business arena across the globe.
        To fill this void, this dissertation concurrently conducted two sets of research: one used a survey methodology on a real company’s CSR case and the other used an experimental method. […]

Question to Suppliers

 EvoVadis reported that the following suppliers had turned to EcoVadis’ supplier sustainability ratings service:

  • Amcor,
  • Bombardier
  • Clarins,
  • Coca Cola Enterprises,
  • DuPont,
  • Eastman Chemical,
  • GlaxoSmithKline,
  • Huawei,
  • ING Bank,
  • Johnson & Johnson,
  • Merck,
  • Nokia,
  • PSA/Peugeot-Citroen,
  • Renault-Nissan,
  • Subway,
  • Verizon

 Question to these suppliers: Do you disclose your EcoVadis Premium Reports to the public – or at least your own employees?

Transparent and honest reporting is possible.

Legitimate Stakeholders

 According to EcoVadis (see, chapter 10, p. 24/31) “legitimate stakeholders” are:

  • Governmental organizations (i.e. government environmental protection administrations, anti-trust agencies, customers protection agencies)
  • CSR networks and initiatives
  • Trade unions and employers’ organizations
  • International organizations (i.e. UN, ILO, UNEP, …)
  • NGO’s (i.e. Greenpeace, Clean Clothes Campaign, Transparency international, UFC, …)
  • Research institutes and reputable press (CSR Asia, Blacksmith Institute, …)

A corporate stakeholder is a party that can affect or be affected by the actions of the company and the achievement of its objectives (i.e. employees, clients, suppliers).

 I think that, presently, EcoVadis treats employees as 2nd class stakeholders.

Cher Msr. Thaler, cher Msr. Trinel

Dear Pierre-François Thaler,
Dear Frédéric Trinel

 Your concept for the EcoVadis Premium Reports is excellent. There also is a chapter on “LABOR PRACTICES & HUMAN RIGHTS (LAB)”. In the chapter, employees of companies assessed by EcoVadis could find several pages on policies, actions and results.

 Regrettably, some companies disclose their reports to customers only, but not to their employees. They trust their customers more than their own employees.

 As long as an organization assessed by EcoVadis refuses to disclose their EcoVadis Premium Report at least to the own employees, these employees have to assume that there is something wrong in what their employer reported to EcoVadis.

 In Germany, works councils are legally obliged to supervise the implementation of OH&S regulations and environment protection regulations in their organization. Therefore hiding any reports describing
• the state of OH&S and
• the state of environmental protection
from employee representatives is an infringement of their rights and interfers with the works council’s obligatory tasks. In order to obtain the report, works councils would have to sue the employer. But often works councils are to weak to do that. Here support from EcoVadis would help to settle conflicts out of court.

 According to EcoVadis, “trade unions” already are legitimate stakeholders. Please describe the process which trade unions can use in order to obtain EcoVadis Premium Reports from those companies in which these trade unions represent employees. Understandibly, employees as stakeholders are curious about the chapter on “LABOR PRACTICES & HUMAN RIGHTS (LAB)”.

 Please develop and publish an EcoVadis policy which shows that EcoVadis compassionately encourages assessed companies to disclose their EcoVadis Premium Reports to all parties who have a legitimate stake in the CSR of that company.

Best regards,
Goetz Kluge