Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Update: XBRL Taxonomy for Sustainability Data Now Released

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I’ve written before about how the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Deloitte were collaborating to develop an XBRL (extensible business reporting language) standard for sustainability data. Well, it’s now launched:

Data on the sustainability performance of companies – including carbon emissions, water use and human rights infringements – can now be easily revealed thanks to a new format for tagging data in sustainability reports, being launched today (Thursday 8 March 2012) by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Sustainability experts say the new format will help people find information hidden in sustainability reports much more quickly and easily.

GRI is encouraging firms to tag their data with the new standard. This is a step in the right direction, but I have a few questions.  How long will it take for firms to adopt? What is the incentive? How long will it take leading energy and carbon management systems to incorporate the new standard to make it automatic and costless for companies to use the standard? Will the data be shared or monetized by third parties?

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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