Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in emerging economies where they act as key engines of job creation and income generation, contributing to up to 45% of total domestic employment and 33% of national income  

The continued globalization of supply chains provides SMEs in developing countries with vast opportunities to access new markets and to thereby contribute to more and sustainable growth and poverty reduction..  

However, these companies often struggle to meet the increasingly stringent global demands for sustainable business conduct, which has become a crucial factor for competitiveness and market access, and thus a de facto barrier to trade.  

In recent years, it has become evident that sustainability reporting is a critical competitive differentiator to enter Global Value Chains and thus a central tool for SMEs to improve their competitiveness and market access possibilities. 

In cooperation with the Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), from 2016-2021, we delivered the Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business (CSRCB) program to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in six countries: Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, South Africa, and Vietnam. 

With CSRCB, GRI wants to contribute to better integration of SMEs into global value chains through: 

  • Developing SME capacity for sustainability reporting 
  • Enabling a conducive reporting environment 
  • Fostering demand for sustainability data 

Watch this animation to learn more about the program


  • Over 2500 participants from SMEs trained on sustainability reporting through workshops events and one-to-one meetings across six countries since 2016.   
  • Launch of a GRI Digital Reporting Platform, exclusive for SMEs and Implementation Partners on the CSRCB program to produce custom-made sustainability reports 
  • GRI Standards and its updates translated into the relevant languages, including Spanish (May 2017), Vietnamese (June 2017) and Bahasa Indonesian (July 2017). 
  • Over 2000 data users (including investors, media and civil society organizations) engaged on using sustainability data through workshops, events and one-to-one meetings since 2016.  
  • SDG Compass developed together with the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, to guide companies in aligning their strategies with the SDGs. 


Related documents

Empowering Small Business - Recommendations for policymakers to enable corporate sustainability reporting for SMEs file 01 Aug 2018 English 20 MB
Best Practices in Sustainability by Peruvian MSMEs (EN) file 15 Apr 2021 English 16.3 MB
Best Practices in Sustainability by Peruvian MSMEs (Spanish) file 15 Apr 2021 Spanish 16.3 MB

Become a partner

Interested in our donor-funded programs and contributing to GRI’s mission? We welcome all types of partners: foundations, governments, organizations and individuals.  Contact Asthildur Hjaltadottir, Chief Regional Officer

Get in touch