GRI appoints new Director of Focal Point USA and Canada

global reporting initiativeThe Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) today announced the appointment of Eric Israel to the role of Director of GRI’s North American office, Focal Point USA and Canada.
Ernst Ligteringen, Chief Executive of GRI, said: “After a rigorous selection process we are delighted to announce Eric’s appointment. Eric emerged as the outstanding candidate thanks to his in-depth understanding of sustainability practices in North America, together with his exceptional experience working as a Managing Director in various auditing and sustainability roles at PwC and KPMG. With him at the helm, the profile and influence of GRI Focal Point USA and Canada will be greatly enhanced – something that will help to both increase the uptake of sustainability reporting and improve the quality of sustainability information and reports”.

Eric Israel said: “Having worked in the sustainability sector for over a decade I am thrilled to be joining the Global Reporting Initiative. My work with GRI dates back to the second generation of GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G2. I have seen the transformative potential of sustainability reporting at first hand, and am passionate about helping organizations based in the US and Canada become world leaders in developing integrated sustainability business models”. 

The USA and Canada are of strategic importance to GRI’s work. The USA is home to more companies and other organizations that report than any other country in the world – from multinationals to small and medium enterprises, and from cities, such as Chicago, to the US Army. 

GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines are today the de facto global standard; the most widely used and referenced guidelines in the world. According to recent research*, over 80 percent of the largest companies in both the USA and Canada produce Corporate Responsibility Reports, the vast majority of which use or refer to GRI Guidelines. In addition, there are more Organizational Stakeholders (83) – companies and other organizations that represent GRI’s core supporters – than in any other country.   

Christianna Wood, Chairman of the GRI Board, said: “This is an exciting time for GRI and for the new Director of Focal Point USA and Canada. There is no more important single market than the US. The appointment of Eric underlines GRI’s focus on employing experts that know the market inside and out. Eric has worked closely with GRI for over a decade and I have every confidence that he will be a powerful advocate for GRI’s work as it moves to become a global standard setter”.     

Ernst Ligteringen added: “On behalf of everyone at GRI I would also like to extend our sincere thanks to Marjella Alma, who has served as Interim Director of the Focal Point since January this year, having spent seven years in total at GRI. Marjella has been a huge asset to GRI. The respect she has from companies and other reporting organizations speaks volumes about her professionalism and expertise”.  

Eric Israel will take up his position on 1 April 2014, based at GRI’s New York Office.

 About Eric Israel 

Eric Israel, who in lives New Jersey, is an auditing and sustainability professional with experience at both PwC and KPMG – two of the ‘big four’ professional services firms. A qualified Chartered Accountant, prior to moving to GRI Eric was Managing Director of US Sustainable Business Solutions at PwC.  He has a wide range of experience including: sustainable development concepts and application; finance and sustainability assurance; climate change and carbon consulting and verification; business research and development; and knowledge management and corporate governance. 


About Focal Point USA and Canada
Focal Point USA was launched in October 2010 in order to help USA-based companies to tell the world about their sustainability performance.  The Focal Point was later re-branded in July 2013 as Focal Point USA and Canada in order to reflect its role in also assisting companies and driving update in Canada.
About GRI
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to a sustainable global economy.

GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice. To enable all companies and organizations to report their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, GRI produces free Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

GRI is an international not-for-profit organization, with a network-based structure. Its activity involves thousands of professionals and organizations from many sectors, constituencies and regions.