How Graphic Packaging used our reporting and communications platform to bring its data to life

Graphic Packaging International (GPI; NYSE: GPK) is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paperboard and paper-based consumer product packaging. The organization uses renewable, recycled and recyclable materials and has incorporated sustainability into its day-to-day practices for more than a decade.

GPI needed to bring its data to life

Realizing that its static PDF reports weren’t versatile enough to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders, including investors, clients, analysts and rating agencies, GPI decided to find an operational tool that could centralize all its environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) data and act as a stakeholder communications platform. And so the organization turned to us and thinkPARALLAX, an ESG strategy and communications consultant, to move its entire reporting process over to the Metrio platform in just a few months.

We helped GPI:

Implement a more collaborative workflow

Up until 2021, GPI prepared its sustainability reports through a labour-intensive process involving manual data transfers from spreadsheets to tables, a single data collection and approval point-person and external report designers.

To help GPI collaborate more easily and independently across its internal teams, we developed a workflow that data collectors can use to input data from several sources into a central database. Now, GPI’s sustainability team can easily assign data entry tasks to collaborators in different parts of the business, and subject-matter experts can easily approve data.

“Working with Metrio was a breeze. Our project manager was responsive, helpful and patient and did a great job setting up our data collection system. He helped us find ways to work more efficiently, and now our process is much more streamlined.”

Andrew Johnson, Vice President, Government Affairs and Sustainability

Create dynamic reports populated by real-time data

To better engage its stakeholders and meet their ever-evolving reporting expectations, GPI was looking to move away from PDF reports. In collaboration with thinkPARALLAX, we created a dynamic, branded ESG website that syncs with GPI’s database in real time.

Staff can now generate custom reports and update the website right from their Metrio account. And thanks to the website's inviting, user-friendly design, GPI’s clients, investors and other stakeholders can quickly delve into different aspects of the company’s ESG performance, from risk management and emissions to diversity and ethics.

Improve its ratings with reader-friendly indexes

GPI’s stakeholders aren’t the only group that benefited from the company's new communications platform.

Rating agency analysts, who have only minutes to manually download and assess non-financial information about the companies in their investors’ portfolios, had to read through GPI’s entire report to understand and assess the company’s results. This led to lower ESG risk ratings that didn’t reflect the manufacturer’s actual performance.

To remedy the issue, we worked with thinkPARALLAX to create SASB, GRI, TCFD, UNGC and UN SDG indexes that link to specific pages of GPI’s online report. Analysts can now scan and interpret the information more quickly and accurately. As a result, many of GPI’s rankings greatly improved after its 2020 assessments.

What’s next?

Soon after publishing its new sustainability website, GPI was named one of America's Most Responsible Companies of 2021. But the manufacturer doesn’t plan to sit on its laurels. As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, GPI plans on drilling deeper into its performance and hopes to one day publish an integrated annual report that brings together its financial and ESG performance.

“We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished with Metrio and thinkPARALLAX. We’ve come a long way, yet we’ve only scratched the surface of what the Metrio platform can do. We plan to leverage the system’s full potential to help us uncover new ESG reporting functionalities and measure our performance at an even more granular level.”

Andrew Johnson, Vice President, Government Affairs and Sustainability

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