Smoking chimneys against blue sky

Operational environmental indicators

In their “sustainability reports” big corporations frequently make use of indicators proposed by the “Global reporting Initiative” (GRI) which presents itself as a multi-stakeholder organisation but is, in fact, controlled by big business.

These indicators are highly questionable, as they typically require in the environmental field an indication of total amounts used or emitted per year (energy, materials, pollutants) which cannot be reasonably compared with data from other companies. Hence, benchmarking comparing the performance of different organisations is impossible.

Such comparisons can only be made on the basis of equal processes and, respectively, reference parameters, e.g. using energy intensity in the production of one ton of cement. It is very encouraging that such considerations have found their way into the ISO standard 14031 dealing with “environmental performance evaluation”.

By contrast, the Commission promoted "Organisational Environmental Footprint" follows in principle the flawed GRI philosophy and is, therefore, completely useless.

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