A Solution to Align Corporate Reporting Frameworks: The Case of GRI and CDP

In response to the financial crisis of 2008, the European Union is promoting better reporting practices, including the recent European Directive 2014/95/EU on non-financial and diversity information disclosure approved by the European Commission. More transparent firms are considered a key component to tackle the economic, social and environmental challenges of the new millennium. Reporting is based on both compulsory rules and also on guidelines for voluntary disclosures, such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the CDP (formerly known as Carbon Disclosure Project).


GRI and CDP have been working together since 2010 to align areas of their reporting frameworks. The lack of complete convergence, however, represents a barrier to meeting the European objectives. A common understanding is needed, and while XBRL appears to be part of the solution, it is not enough to guarantee convergence. This talk explores the possible role of XBRL in aligning the GRI and CDP frameworks. By means of text mining analysis, recognising correspondences between key terms contained in the 670 companies that report according to both GRI and CDP, this study proposes an ontology design process and a technical architecture solution using XBRL. The results can be of interest not only for scholars, but also for company filers and regulators, in a context of growing integration between financial and non-financial reporting frameworks in Europe.


This talk is presented by Maria Mora, University of Bristol

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