Could this be the end of greenwashing? After five years of work, an innovative coalition of businesses, advocacy groups, unions, accountants, academics, and government representatives is preparing to unveil standardized guidelines for how businesses report their impact on society and the environment. The Global Reporting Initiative standards, which are the brainchild of the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, include more than 90 indicators of environmental, social, and economic performance — from greenhouse gas emissions and waste management to human rights and child labor records. The GRI standards could meet the growing demand from investors, activists, accounting bodies, and governments for thorough information about business practices, while streamlining the reporting process for companies.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.