The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), the independent body that sets the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, announced today the appointment of Carol Adams as its new Chair, effective April 1.

GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are one of the most commonly accepted global standards for sustainability reporting by companies, developed to enable consistent reporting across companies and industries, providing clearer communication to stakeholders regarding sustainability matters.

Founded by the GRI in 2015, the GSSB is an independent operating entity with sole responsibility for the development of GRI sustainability standards, which were launched in 2016. In 2019, the GSSB initiated a project to review the standards, aiming to improve the quality and consistency of sustainability reporting, with revised universal standards launched in 2021.

The GSSB has been chaired since 2017 by Judy Kuszewski, who will complete her second term at the end of March.

Kuszewski said:

“Over the past six years, I have seen the GRI Standards go from strength to strength, with significant increases in adoption and usage, and new standards launched, such as our Sector Program. I am pleased to be able to hand the baton on to someone as capable and committed as Carol, who I have every confidence will continue to advance the GSSB remit to deliver world-class sustainability reporting standards.”

Adams currently serves as a Professor of Accounting at Durham University Business School, and has served in a series of advisory roles in the finance and investment sectors. She is a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board’s Sustainability Reporting Advisory Panel, and of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and also chairs its Sustainability Panel, and she also advises the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on sustainability reporting. She has also advised the United Nations (UNDP, UNCTAD), the International Integrated Reporting Council, the Commonwealth Education Trust, and the UK Government’s Implementation Taskforce on Impact Investing.

Adams said:

“With a growing recognition of the importance of sustainability reporting, GRI has a huge part to play. I am looking forward to working closely with the GSSB’s expert members, to further widen usage of GRI’s multi-stakeholder standards, which are the global blueprint for quality and comprehensive impact reporting. Identifying and measuring impacts on the economy, environment and society is an essential step in managing an organization’s risks and opportunities, as well as assessing positive and negative impacts on achieving the SDGs.”

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