Sustainability indicators for media companies discussed in Brasilia last week
A seminar in Brasilia debated the draft Media Sector Supplement, a tool that is being developed under the coordination of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to diagnose corporate responsibility of media companies. UNESCO's Office in Brasilia co-organized the event, in cooperation with its partners.
Entitled "Sustainability Indicators for the Media Sector", the seminar is part of the process initiated by AVINA (a Latin American organization working in the field of sustainable development) to offer companies working in the field of communication a reliable instrument to diagnose their social and environmental policies. The methodology developed by GRI (an international organization based in Netherlands) is being used as a framework for sustainability reports by major global corporations.
The event was attended by representatives of media companies and stakeholder organizations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. The Centre for Telecommunications Development and Access to the Information Society of Latin America (CERTAL) also participated in the seminar.
The UNESCO Brasilia Office joined this regional initiative to further the debate on indicators for the communications sector, in the framework of UNESCO's Media Development Indicators. Andrew Puddephat, a UNESCO consultant who worked on the Media Development Indicators, took part in the event.
Besides the group of basic indicators, previously developed by GRI, a series of additional sets of indicators for specific business sectors has been implemented. Since 2008 a supplement for the media sector is being developed by a working group comprising representatives of media companies and civil society organizations. Among the media companies involved in this process are Warner Brothers, Vivendi, Berteslmann, BBC, The Guardian, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Grupo Clarín. Other stakeholders include Transparency International, International Federation of Journalists, Global Forum for Media Development and The Nature Conservancy.
The results of the Brasília seminar will be presented to the working group, which has already received contributions through an online consultation process. A new version of the Media Sector Supplement will be made available for a second round of comments at the beginning of next year. Afterwards, the consolidated document will be submitted to the GRI Technical Advisory Committee for approval. It is expected that by September 2011 the new set of indicators will officially be integrated into the GRI system and any media company or corporation will be able to adopt it.