Strengthened governance to position GRI for the future
Published date: 20 October 2021
Changes see a move to a two-tier board and new Chairs appointed
GRI is to restructure its governance in order to best position the organization in the fast-changing global landscape of sustainability standard setters, with the introduction of a two-tier board structure.
To ensure a smooth transition that will take effect on 31 October, the current Board of Directors will form the initial GRI Supervisory Board. A Management Board, to consist of the CEO and Chief Financial Officer, Dani Marunovic, will also be created.
With the expected appointment of a new CEO in January, current Chair, Eric Hespenheide, will step down from the Board and be appointed as interim CEO. In related moves, Jack Ehnes (former CEO of CalSTRS) will become Chair of the Supervisory Board, and Jessica Fries (Executive Chair of A4S), will continue as Vice-Chair.
Five years after transitioning to become the global standard setter for sustainability reporting, GRI has certainly earned its place as the driver for corporate transparency. These governance changes will prepare GRI as we take on an increasingly influential role as an enabler for responsible business practices around the world. Having supported GRI in a number of leadership capacities over the past seven years, I now look forward to ending my tenure in the capacity of interim-CEO, ensuring a smooth handover to the new CEO.”Eric Hespenheide
With the global sustainability reporting landscape maturing, GRI finds itself at the center of the debate on how to achieve effective and transparent reporting for the impacts of organizations. Looking ahead, we can expect further harmonization of standards and frameworks, in which GRI has a pivotal role. GRI being named co-constructor of new EU sustainability reporting standards by the European Commission is an important illustration of where we can influence the alignment of global and regional requirements for impact reporting. As Chair, I am excited to contribute to the fulfilment of GRI’s vision of a global corporate reporting regime in which financial and sustainability reporting are mandated and on an equal footing – as two interconnected and essential perspectives. I look forward to working with the Management Board and the whole organization to achieve our shared objectives.”Jack Ehnes
The changes are the result of a governance review launched in May 2021 and ensure GRI complies with new legislation in the Netherlands, where GRI is headquartered (WBTR – the Management and Supervision of Legal Entities). This law applies to non-profit foundations and relates to governance policies, including conflict of interest and liability of directors.
Following the departure in October 2020 of GRI’s previous chief executive, the Executive Team has been managing the fulfilment of organizational priorities, with support from the Board.
GRI’s current governance structure includes a range of multi-stakeholder bodies, committees and groups, with serving members contributing their time and expertise on a voluntary basis.