New appointments boost senior-level balance, diversity and expertise of the Global Reporting Initiative Board

global reporting initiativeThe Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has appointed six members to its Board of Directors, further increasing the presence of experts from diverse regions and disciplines in its multi-stakeholder governance structure.

Replacing five long-serving members who had completed their terms and reappointing one member, these six key appointments add to the existing balance, diversity and expertise at GRI; maintaining and reinforcing an organizational approach based on bridge-building, and the inputs of diverse voices and specialisms.  

Outgoing GRI Chairman (and ongoing Board member) Herman Mulder said: “GRI is in the business of information – and if you want stakeholders to get the information they need, you need to create an organization that reflects diverse interests. That’s what GRI has been doing since its inception – following a multi-stakeholder approach which ensures that its organizational reporting guidance reflects the needs and interests of many different stakeholders and serves the general public interest.”

GRI’s newly-appointed Chairman, institutional investor Christianna Wood, also highlights the benefits of balance: “All stakeholders have a vested interest in maintaining the highest standards of transparency and comparability in the evolution of global reporting. GRI’s governance approach brings together senior people with impressively-varied skills, expertise, experience and cultural backgrounds – helping to safeguard the credibility and legitimacy of its Reporting Framework and Guidelines.”  

The six members will serve terms to December 2016, and take a leading role in GRI’s strategic approach to promoting change towards a sustainable global economy, and increasing corporate transparency and accountability.

Eric Hespenheide – who will also become Chairman of GRI’s Technical Advisory Committee – was a senior partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP for over 25 years; serving as Global Leader of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) member firms’ Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Services Group, and managing partner of the global Internal Audit Practice. In addition, he served as the Lead Partner or Advisory Partner on a number of global engagements in a variety of industries. A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Mr. Hespenheide also serves on the national board of directors of the United Cerebral Palsy Association and the Dean’s Advisory Council at Louisiana State University. He has been involved in the work of the Institute of Internal Auditors since 2001; as a board trustee for the IIA’s Research Foundation, he plays an active role in contributing to and strengthening the internal auditing profession.

Alexandra Watson is a Professor in the Accounting Department at the University of Cape Town. A Chartered Accountant from The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), Professor Watson is an Independent Non-Executive Director of Control Instruments Group Ltd. and of Coronation Fund Managers Ltd. She is a member of the Education Advisory Group to the International Accounting Standards Council Foundation, and the GAAP monitoring panel.

Pavan Sukhdev is Founder/CEO of GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm which advises governments on natural and human capital. He is a Visiting Fellow at Yale University, where he was awarded the 2011 McCluskey Fellowship. Mr. Sukhdev was formerly Special Adviser and Head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative, and Study Leader for the G8+5-commissioned project The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), where he was appointed by the EU Commission and Germany. A career banker, while at Deutsche Bank Mr. Sukhdev founded and then chaired Global Markets Centre – Mumbai, a leading front-office offshoring company; he also serves on the boards of Conservation International and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Roberto de Ocampo, OBE, is Founding Partner of Centennial Group International and Chairman of Centennial Asia Advisors. Formerly the president of the Asian Institute of Management, Dr. de Ocampo served as Secretary of Finance of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, and was chairman and CEO of the Development Bank of the Philippines from 1989 to 1993. Dr. de Ocampo was named ‘Finance Minister of the Year’ and subsequently ‘Asian Finance Minister of the Year’ by Euromoney and Asiamoney magazines, and conferred the Legion of Honor by the Republic of the Philippines in 1998 for his outstanding contributions to the country. Dr. de Ocampo also holds the rank of Chevalier of the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, Republic of France, and is the first recipient of the Man of the Year title awarded by the Association of Development Financial Institutions in Asia-Pacific.

Manfred Warda has been a trade union member for over 50 years, 35 years of which he filled a full time position, working first with the mine-workers trade union and then with the mine and chemical workers trade union. Mr. Warda is the former General Secretary of the ICEM (2007-2012) – the Global Union representing workers in the chemicals, energy and mining sectors. He served as a member of the Board of the Global Compact from 2007-2012, and is currently a member of a number of different supervisory Boards in Germany, where he has contributed to government-led tripartite sustainability initiatives. For some years, Mr. Warda was also the Board member of a company in the USA.

Roberto S. Waack is a reappointed member of GRI’s Board. He is Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Amata S.A., a Brazilian forestry company. Mr. Waack is a board member of several national and international organizations such as FSC – The Forest Stewardship Council, and FUNBIO – The Brazilian Biodiversity Fund. The former President of Orsa Florestal and former Director of pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Vallée and Pasteur Mérieux, Mr. Waack’s professional career is in marketing, technology management, strategic planning, corporate governance and sustainability.

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.