There are just four months to go until the Global Conference on Sustainability and Reporting kicks-off at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam. The theme of this year’s Conference is Information – Integration – Innovation. Attendees will hear from leaders from business, government, finance, accountancy, civil society, labor and academia about the latest sustainability challenges, and how we can all best work together to ensure a sustainable global economy.
This month we hear first-hand from the GRI Conference team about the ins-and-outs of planning this big event, and what lies ahead in the last few months before the doors open on 22 May.
“The GRI Conference is the must-attend sustainability event of 2013,” says Marjolein Baghuis, Director Marketing & Communications at GRI. “The entire global economy needs to move towards a more sustainable future, and to ensure this shift, collaboration is needed. The Conference will provide the perfect platform for organizations and individuals to come together to share values and best practices. This collaboration will go a long way towards finding solutions to our sustainability challenges and accelerating a much needed change.”
1,200 delegates from 77 countries attended the last Conference in 2010. This year, over 1500 delegates are expected to attend, making it the largest multi-stakeholder event to date to focus on the role organizational transparency plays in achieving a sustainable global economy.
“GRI’s previous Conference in 2010 was very popular and tickets sold out,” says Baghuis. “We encourage all those wishing to attend this year’s Conference to register soon, to make use of the early-bird discount, which closes on 31 January.”
An exciting program is planned, with a host of interesting guest speakers including the likes of Achim Steiner (UNEP), Peter Bakker (WBCSD), Jochen Zeitz (PUMA) and Barbara Kux (Siemens).
“The Conference agenda will focus on five tracks,” says Conference Coordinator, Gergana Petrova. “The G4 Track will cover the profound changes in the next generation of the GRI Guidelines; the Trends in Reporting Track will focus on recent developments in the field of sustainability reporting; the Shaping the Reporting Environment Track will highlight developments and the perspectives of policy makers and report users; the Learning Track is tailored for new reporters; and the Academic Track will gather the learning of prominent researchers from around the world.”
To cater for the needs of a diverse audience, the Conference plenaries and main hall sessions will be translated into four languages: French, Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin.
A call for media and network partners is currently open. “We are now recruiting media partners to promote the Conference online and through printed publications and press releases. We are also looking for network partners to promote the Conference through messages and advertising,” says Petrova.
Fundraising is another essential part of the Conference planning process, as GRI’s Senior Coordinator Conference & Events, Ron van Veen, notes: “The Conference is a big undertaking for a non-profit organization like GRI and it can only be made possible through sponsorship. We are fortunate to have initial sponsors on board who share the values of GRI and are keen to further the development towards a sustainable global economy.”
One such sponsor is Siemens: “Sustainability reporting is becoming increasingly important; we therefore welcome GRI’s efforts in driving sustainability reporting further by improving materiality and making it more helpful for investors. It is for this reason that we decided to become more closely involved with GRI by sponsoring its upcoming Conference,” says Stefan Reicherz, Sustainability Manager at Siemens. To support the Conference, GRI is still recruiting additional sponsors. More information about the Conference sponsorship opportunities is available on the website.
GRI’s Conference team is supported by the international event management company, MCI. The Conference takes place on 22-24 May 2013 at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam. The early-bird discount closes on 31 January, so make sure to register soon!