Atlanta 2013 – 2014 GRI Sustainability Report March 31, 2015

The GRI framework is typically utilized in the private sector where an organizations materiality is an easily identifiable set of products or services. More than 5,000 organizations from 60 countries use the guidelines to produce their sustainability reports; as a municipality producing a sustainability report using the GRI framework is very rare. In fact, only five cities across the globe have produced a pubic report.

City government is a natural leverage point for educating residents about their efforts and to get them involved in the decision-making process.  We see the GRI reporting methodology as one that is uniform from a peer city to city (and global) perspective, yet still translatable at the community level.

On stakeholder collaboration

With over 300 individual stakeholders and hundreds of local organizations representing government, business, academics, and non-profits and citizens, we worked to complete a refresh of Atlanta’s sustainability initiative that would truly reflect the great work being done in silos.

We’ve also enjoyed the support of the Atlanta City Council where they have either led or contributed to the dialogue to ensure our policies were the right fit for all parties impacted.

Our success is dependent on engaging the public in a way that they feel both connected and appreciated.

To that end, our office is actively seeking grant opportunities at the federal, foundation, and community level. When we can show a replicable and scalable model for implementation, education, and conservation measures, we are able to use those funds internally for both greater efficiencies in municipal operations as well as sowing seeds throughout the community to help our stakeholders grow their footprint.

On GRI as a measurement and reporting tool for the initiatives set forth in Power to Change

The Power to Change sustainability initiative was created through benchmarking, focus groups and one-on-one interviews our office was able to move forward with confidence that the goals and metrics we set for our sustainability initiative were both measurable and achievable. Beyond the traditional binary success metrics, we enlisted the GRI reporting method as a tool to report on progress in the Power to Change initiative for the near, mid and long-term.

As you turn the pages, you will see community-wide action by all stakeholder groups. The GRI is helping us to measure impact while also helping us tell Atlanta’s story in a way that has never been told before.