GRI Certified Sustainability Reporting Course

A Sustainability or Integrated Report is a report about the economic, environmental and social impacts caused by an organization through its everyday activities, the organization’s policies and practices to manage these impacts, and how these factors affect the core business of the organization. Publishing integrated sustainability reports has become commonplace, is strongly recommended by the King III Report on Governance for South Africa, and is a requirement for South African listed companies. A variety of organizations, both listed and non-listed, can benefit in multiple ways from publishing a sustainability/integrated report.

The most widely used framework for sustainability reports are the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines for Sustainability Reporting. These guidelines have recently been transformed into the GRI Standards on Sustainability Reporting. In order to help mainstreaming sustainability reporting, the GRI has embarked on a global capacity building program supported by its local training partners. This course is based on the GRI Standards on Sustainability Reporting. Although primarily addressing sustainability reporting this course also addresses integrated reporting and its linkages with sustainability reporting.

Register here, or view the training schedule

Aim and objectives of this course

The aim of this course is to equip participants to manage a structured process for the development of an organization’s sustainability, and sharpening their skills to contribute to the report. By doing so, their ability to assess and evaluate sustainability reports is also enhanced.

Specific objectives include:

  • Develop an understanding of the broader context of sustainability reporting;
  • Develop the skills to manage each step in the sustainability reporting process;
  • Study examples how various organizations have implemented sustainability/integrated reporting;
  • Develop the ability to assess a sustainability/integrated report; and
  • Understand the structure of and relationships between the GRI Series of Standards.

Who should attend

  • Business leaders
  • Board members and other executives
  • Sustainability managers
  • Financial officers
  • Stakeholder engagement practitioners
  • Community engagement and development officers
  • Corporate communication managers and officers
  • Officials from all tiers of government
  • Academics
  • Trade unions representatives
  • Representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Consultants
  • Students

Approach to the course

This course is highly interactive and includes:

  • Interactive presentations
  • Class and small group discussions
  • Studying examples of sustainability/integrated reporting
  • A post-course assessment of an actual sustainability/integrated report

GRI certified training material forms the backbone of the course. Many examples from actual sustainability/integrated reports will be used to illustrate good practices.

Outline of the two-day course

The course covers the following topics:

  • Conceptual introduction to sustainability and integrated reporting;
  • Planning the sustainability reporting process;
  • Engaging with stakeholders and enhancing the credibility of the sustainability reporting process;
  • Defining the content of the sustainability report;
  • Monitoring information for inclusion in the sustainability report;
  • Final preparation and communication of the sustainability report;
  • In accordance options for GRI sustainability reports;
  • Assessment of a sustainability/integrated report using the GRI guidelines;
  • External assurance of sustainability/integrated reports.


This course is internationally certified by the GRI. Successful participants will receive an internationally recognized certificate from the GRI.

Course presenters

This course is presented by Environmental & Sustainability Solutions (ESS), a GRI certified training provider in South Africa. ESS has offered GRI certified courses to more than a thousand participants from more than 200 organizations in South Africa, Zambia, Mauritania, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya – both in-house and open courses. Mr Seakle Godschalk and Dr Maryna Möhr are both GRI accredited trainers.

Contact details

For further details, or to register for the course, contact:

Seakle Godschalk at: or +27 (0) 82 395 7582

Maryna Möhr at: or +27 (0) 82 882 7700

or visit our website at

Related training

ESS offers the Sustainability Performance Indicator Workshop back to back with the GRI certified course for a more comprehensive package.


To register for this course, please click here.

Training and Consulting Professionals