Information published on 22 March 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 490.

UIC Handbook provides an update on UIC Reporting Guidelines according to the new G4 Standard of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • Sustainable development

The new “GRI G4 Indicators Handbook, Guidelines for Railway Companies” reviews and adapts the UIC Reporting Guidelines, which are included in the UIC Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport launched in March 2011.

This Reporting Guidelines enable UIC members to define their key focus areas and priority issues in accordance with their individual sustainability strategies, action plans, main material issues and most relevant stakeholders. In addition, the UIC Reporting Guidelines support all the 18 statements included in the UIC Declaration on Sustainable Mobility and Transport on rail’s contribution to sustainable mobility and transport, targeting society, customers and the rail sector itself. This Guideline was a result of the UIC Sustainability indicators project in the framework of the UIC Environment, Energy and Sustainability (EES) Platform and supported by signatures of more than 50 UIC member companies.

This Handbook is the final output result of the project developed by UIC and Glenn Frommer (ESG Matters Ltd) has been commissioned to update the aforementioned UIC Reporting Guidelines with reference to the GRI G4 Standard issued in May 2013.

The project included a one-day kick-off workshop held at UIC in April 2015, presenting an overview of the G4 Standard, an understanding of the G4 was detailed regarding report generation, materiality, stakeholder engagement and disclosure of management approach (DMA) with the complementary indicators. In this workshop a gap assessment was complimented by smaller group discussions at the workshop focusing on the wider needs of members regarding non-financial reporting and its use.

A second workshop was held in October 2015 to detail the contents of the Handbook and the additional items required by UIC members.

During the whole process, 10 UIC member companies (FS, NSB, SNCB, Infrabel, NS, FTA, SBB, OBB, Trafikverket and SJ) have participated in the workshops and the production of the Handbook providing existing previous reports for benchmarking of material aspects, exchanging the main demands of rail stakeholders, including comments to adapt the Handbook to the requirements of rail companies.

The final Handbook presents a set of guidelines and recommendations according to GRI G4 content and adapted for railway companies, containing the report preparation, the report content and quality, the aspects related to the specific standard disclosures, the supply chain impacts, the strategy and analysis approach, and their subsequent review according to the GRI G4 standard.

The Handbook customises the GRI G4 standard to the specific conditions of the rail sector and provides sustainability managers a tool to implement the new reporting process under the latest and most recognised sustainability reporting methodology.

This adaptation to the concepts in accordance with the GRI G4 standard includes a special focus on materiality, stakeholder involvement and embedded supply chain impacts. In addition, according to the harmonised view of GRI G4 with other standards, the Handbook includes the relation between the rail sector reporting indicators and other international sets of indicators such as the EU Reporting Directive, the UN Global Compact, the ISO 26000:2010 Standard on Social Responsibility, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The report is available at this link: http://www.uic.org/indicators-voluntary-guideline-for-company-reporting

For further information please contact Gabriel Castañares-Hernández, Senior Advisor – Energy and CO2: castanares@uic.org