he research initiative originating GBS Association dates back to 1997 on the occasion of an international workshop on corporate social responsibility held in Taormina and promoted by the Business Economics Institute of the University of Messina and by the Bonino-Pulejo Fundation, attended by several countries like France, England, Spain, Belgium and by academic representatives and preeminent experts.
In October 1998 GBS constituted a Study Group for establishing the Social Reporting Standards, with the permanent voluntary attendance of 32 participants on behalf of 13 Italian universities, the professional Orders of Chart and General Accountants, some of the major Financial Audit Companies and other agencies and experts. For three years it has carried out intense research and elaboration, ending up with the release of the Social Reporting Standards, officially introduced in Rome at CNEL, on 3 May 2001. At a national level, it is the only existing document recognized and shared by the experts of this subject, and companies, professionals and financial audit companies regard it as a scientific document.
ABI (Italian Banks Association) first adopted the G.B.S. Principles as a reference for its “Modello di redazione del Bilancio Sociale per il settore del credito”. In October 2011, G.B.S. has being officially set as a research non for profit Association, adopting this denomination, a statute, and executive and research bodies with our mission:
“Development and promotion of scientific research on Social Report and on issues related to corporate responsible management processes, with the purpose of fostering the spread of corporate social responsibility and its application at a national and at an international level”
The Association, as ultimately established, was further formally joined by several Universities.