BHP Billiton : Giving guidance on guidelines
Interactive mapping of an online report increases its value to analysts and CSR professionals.
BHP Billiton, an Australia-based minerals and mining company, maps its online Sustainability Report interactively against international reporting guidelines.
The report includes a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Navigator that allows users to see both how the GRI guidelines are being applied by the company to its reporting and its performance against them. An overview page includes an index of GRI Indicators (for example, Strategy and Analysis, Environmental Performance) that leads to standardised tables with columns showing the indicator reference number, a description of it, links to relevant information on the site and Level of Reporting. The latter uses a set of three symbols to show the extent to which the performance indicator has been met (fully, partially and not).
BHP Billiton’s GRI Navigator is a sign of how the rise of ethical funds, indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and ‘carbon consciousness’ are all driving companies to raise the credibility of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) reporting. Many are adopting the GRI guidelines as an internationally-recognised reporting standard. This pleases sustainability professionals and, increasingly, market analysts who are interested in comparability across companies.
But they also want to be able to see how the fine words and commitment are translated into action and performance. BHP Billiton takes this and allies it to the unique strengths of a website to provide a dynamic document that enhances the transparency of its reporting and allows analysts to interrogate the information.http://www.bhpbilliton.com/bb/sustainableDevelopment/ourApproachToSustainabilityReporting/globalReportingInitiativeNavigator.jsp
First published on 09 October, 2007