Workshop on the new Guidelines G4 of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for rail companies – 23 April 2015, Paris

On 23 April 2015, UIC held a Workshop on the Implementation of the new G4 guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for rail companies, moderated and supported by Glenn Frommer.

Glenn Frommer is Managing Partner of ESG Matters Ltd and the Head of Corporate Sustainability for a major public transport organisation. Over 20 years he pioneered and implemented the organisational policies, strategies and programmes for environment, sustainability and CSR. He is a member of the GRI Working Group on Content and Materiality (GRI G3), the GRI Working Group on Disclosure of Management Aspects and assisted in drafting the newly released GRI G4 Guidelines.

The GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice for all companies and organisations. Its framework is a reporting system that provides metrics and methods for measuring and reporting sustainability-related impacts and performance.

The aim of the new G4 Guidelines is to increase user-friendliness and accessibility. The emphasis on what is material encourages organisations to provide only information that is critical to their business and stakeholders. This means organisations and report users can concentrate on the sustainability impacts that matter, resulting in reports that are more strategic, more focused, more credible, and easier for stakeholders to navigate.

On Thursday 23 April, more than 10 UIC members attended the workshop which took place at the UIC Headquarters in Paris. The workshop presented an overview of the G4 and the Gap Assessment as a basis for discussion and building consensus on a common approach to identify key challenges for the rail sector.

The main points discussed during the workshop were how to identify the materiality indicators for reporting, how to ensure stakeholder engagement in the reporting process and the analysis of current best practices in rail reporting. Participants reviewed the UIC Reporting Guideline and related material available on the UIC website and conducted a Gap Assessment between those documents and the new G4 Guidelines.

Nick Craven, Head of the UIC Sustainability Unit, opened the workshop and introduced Glenn Frommer to the participants, who discuss actively the main gaps and challenges for rail companies in the reporting process. The case studies from FS, NS, and NSB were analysed in order to identify strengths and weakness of the sustainability reporting.

Participants in the workshop exchanged opinions regarding the future worldwide and regional trends on the topic, and how the legal frame, stakeholders and big corporations are increasing their demands on the quality and standardisation of sustainability reporting.

With regard to the final output of the workshop, ESG Matters Ltd will compile railway experiences and the main points to be improved. The compilation of information set out in a short handbook will provide guidelines for the implementation of the GRI G4 Guidelines.

For further information please contact Gabriel Castañares Hernández: castanares at

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