Understanding “Context-Based Sustainability”

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Here’s a note from Mark McElroy:

Regarding this notice and report on so-called “double materiality” put out by GRI this week, it should be clear that as long as such approaches are not context-based, they cannot address sustainability performance at all. So don’t be fooled by it.

Indeed, in Context-Based Sustainability, we have always taken a double materiality approach, albeit in a context-based way. We just haven’t needed a special name for it, because the need to address social and environmental impacts, not just financial ones, is not something we forgot to do in the first instance. GRI, too, has always understood that, but unfortunately has turned its back on the context-based part.

Thus, unlike others like GRI who may also take a so-called double materiality approach, we have always done so in a way that is context-based, which is why what we do qualifies as authentic sustainability accounting. Anyone who takes sustainability seriously, or at least literally, should do the same. Words (and their meanings) matter!