The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) – the independent body that sets the GRI Standards – has appointed Carol Adams as chair.
Adams (pictured), who is professor of accounting at Durham University Business School, takes over from Judy Kuszewski on 1 April following the completion of her final term in the role in which she oversaw the introduction of the organisation’s sector programme. Kuszewski has served as chair since 2017.
Adams is a researcher in sustainability accounting and reporting, its role in driving change and its implications for practice and policy. She advises the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on sustainability reporting, and is a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board’s Sustainability Reporting Advisory Panel. She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and chairs its sustainability panel.
She recently advised the UNDP in creating Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) impact standards, and the UK government’s implementation taskforce on impact investing.
Adams said she is looking forward to working with GSSB expert members to “further widen usage of GRI’s multi-stakeholder standards, which are the global blueprint for quality and comprehensive impact reporting”.
She added: “Identifying and measuring impacts on the economy, environment and society is an essential step in managing an organisation’s risks and opportunities, as well as assessing positive and negative impacts on achieving the SDGs.
“Beyond that, accountability for management approach, strategy, governance oversight and impacts through use of the GRI Standards is critical in driving change, ensuring sustainable development is not side-lined by a narrow focus on financial considerations.”
Eelco van der Enden, CEO of GRI, added: “I am delighted that Carol has accepted the position of GSSB chair, which is a crucially important role in ensuring the effective governance of the GRI Standards. I am confident that under her direction the GSSB’s influential position in the reporting landscape, including engagement with EFRAG and the ISSB, will continue to increase.
“I also want to put on record my enormous gratitude to Judy Kuszewski, who has provided myself and the organisation with such excellent guidance and leadership during her period as chair.”