The Global Reporting Initiative: 1997-2009

11 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2011 Last revised: 7 Apr 2014

See all articles by Joel Gehman

Joel Gehman

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: February 23, 2011


In this research note, I briefly summarize the history of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), from its earliest gestation in 1997, to its initial realization in 1999 and 2000, to its current status circa 2009. Included are descriptive analyses of (a) the sustainability topics and indicators covered by the current G3 guidelines, (b) the number of GRI reports published by country and year, and (c) the number of G3 reports published by application level and year. Finally, I briefly summarize the academic literature to have engaged with the GRI in any substantive way. Overall, I conclude that the GRI represents an important phenomenon, and presents researchers with a potentially rich data source. However, based on my literature review, this potential appears largely untapped.

Keywords: global reporting initiative, sustainability reporting, environmental reporting, social reporting

JEL Classification: D82, D71, F23, M14, O19, Q28

Suggested Citation

Gehman, Joel, The Global Reporting Initiative: 1997-2009 (February 23, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Joel Gehman (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
(780) 248-5855 (Phone)


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