Sustainability Reporting
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2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Ika Permatasari ◽  
Ika Permatasari ◽  
I Made Narsa

Purpose This research is motivated by the development of dialogue and debate regarding company reporting in the form of sustainability reporting (SR) – which is separate from the annual report (AR) – or integrated reporting (IR). Research into SR and IR is still fascinating, and this study addresses the debate about them. This study aims to examine which of the two reports is more valuable for investors, and also examine whether IR has value relevance because the information in the IR could reinforce the importance of the accounting information. Design/methodology/approach As with previous studies, we adopted a valuation approach – the Ohlson model – to assess the value relevance of non-financial information (in the form of SR/IR) and financial information. As a preliminary study, we used non-financial information as a binary variable, i.e. a group of companies that issue sustainability reports and a group of companies that issue integrated reports. Therefore, they complement and interact with the financial statements’ information. This paper used panel data consisting of 931 firm-years of SR issuers and 922 firm-years of IR issuers in Europe and Africa in the period from 2005 to 2019. Findings The results showed that SR had a higher value relevance than IR. However, when the authors interact the corporate reporting form with the accounting information, IR had value relevance because the information contained in the IR could reinforce the importance of the accounting information. Practical implications This study will support regulators in various countries to monitor the reporting practices of companies in those countries. The results of this study provide evidence that sustainability reports get a higher response than integrated reports. However, when interacted with the accounting variables, information in the IR is considered to be more relevant than that found in the SR. Therefore, it is hoped that the results of this study will help the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) in reviewing IR practices around the world so that the implementation of IR practices can be realized in accordance with the mission that the IIRC wants to achieve. Originality/value Research into the value relevance of SR and IR has been carried out by several previous researchers separately, but to the best of the author’s knowledge, there are no studies comparing the value relevance of the two.

2021 ◽  
Vol 24 (3) ◽  
pp. 27-52
Oleh Pasko ◽  
Inna Balla ◽  
Inna Levytska ◽  
Nataliia Semenyshena

The paper explores how companies from Central and Eastern Europe adopt assurance practices to provide accountability for sustainability. Drawing on modified coding rules from prior research, a conventional content analysis of 36 assurance statements companies from nine countries was conducted. The results imply differences in the content of reports, processes, and implementation of the standards. Exclusively large and multinational enterprises from the energy sectors domiciled in Poland and Hungary are a typical portrait of a company from the study’s sample, striving to issue and assure sustainability reporting. Of the nine countries represented in the study, sustainability assurance statements of companies from Poland, Hungary, and Romania tend to excel in terms of quality. The vast majority of assurance providers belong to the Big Four, who use ISAE3000 as opposed to AA1100AS. Yet, irrespective of the assurance provider type, stakeholders are neglected. It is argued that just transferring the experience of financial auditing to the field of sustainability, which, by and large, has taken place, is not an option. Authors state that following this route, we are heading in the wrong direction, and in technical terms, the wider proliferation of AA1100AS and its principles, with greater emphasis on reasonable assurance as opposed to the limited and enhanced role of stakeholders, are vital to get back on track. The paper contributes to the emerging literature on accountability standards and stresses the need to enhance sustainability-related assurance.

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Saidatul Nurul Hidayah Jannatun Naim Nor Ahmad ◽  
Azlan Amran ◽  
A.K. Siti-Nabiha

Purpose This paper aims to explore how a Malaysian palm oil company responded to the pressure for change towards sustainability in their sustainability reporting of negative incidents and in actual sustainability practices. Design/methodology/approach The study used qualitative methodology through an interpretive case study of a palm company. The study gathered primary and secondary data via semi-structured interviews with key organisational members and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), informal conversations, focus groups, document/annual report content analyses and observations. Symbolic and substantive management was used as the theoretical lens to explain the findings. Findings After experiencing a series of negative events regarding their social and environmental performance, the case company responded by using selective disclosure and a symbolic/legitimising strategy to address the majority of recurring negative events. In actual practice, the company changed structurally but policy-implementation gaps remain despite these changes. Strategically, the company changed in terms of its expansion policy but remained unchanged in traceability issues. The increased awareness of sustainability in the company’s culture appeared to suffer in favour of profit and cost/efficiency considerations that remain prominent. Both substantive and symbolic changes were found in both reports and practice but were more inclined to be symbolic. Practical implications The study provides guidelines for companies changing towards sustainability in both practice and reporting, in their effort to contribute to sustainable development goals. Originality/value The study provides evidence of symbolic and substantive changes as complementing activities instead of a dichotomy, which was mostly assumed in previous literature and suggests companies adopt a combination of these depending on the severity of sustainability-related issues, level of scrutiny and cost/efficiency considerations.

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Dinithi Dissanayake ◽  
Carol A. Tilt ◽  
Wei Qian

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how sustainability reporting is shaped by the global influences and particular national context where businesses operate. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses both content analysis of published sustainability information and semi-structured interviews with corporate managers to explore how sustainability reporting is used to address unique social and environmental challenges in a developing country – Sri Lanka. The use of integrative social contracts theory in investigating sustainability reporting offers novel insights into understanding the drivers for sustainability reporting practices in this particular country. Findings The findings reveal that managers’ perceptions about usefulness of sustainability reporting, local contextual challenges and global norms influence the extent to which companies engage in sustainability reporting and the nature of sustainability information reported. In particular, Sri Lankan company managers strive to undertake sustainability projects that are beneficial not only to their companies but also to the development of the country. However, while company managers in Sri Lanka are keen to undertake sustainability reporting, they face different tensions/expectations between global expectations and local contextual factors when undertaking sustainability projects and reporting. This is also showcased in what is ultimately reported in company annual reports, where some aspects of sustainability, e.g. social, tend to focus more on addressing local concerns whereas other disclosures are on issues that may be relevant across many contexts. Research limitations/implications Important insights for government and other regulatory authorities can be drawn from the findings of this study. By capitalising on the strong sense of moral duty felt by company managers, policymakers can involve the business sector more to mitigate the social and environmental issues prevalent in Sri Lanka. The findings can also be used by other developing countries to enable pathways to engage with the corporate sector to contribute to national development agendas through their sustainability initiatives and projects. Originality/value While the usual understanding of developing country’s company managers is that they try to follow global trends, in Sri Lanka, this research shows how managers are trying to align their responsibilities at a national level with global principles regarding sustainability reporting. Therefore, this paper highlights how both hypernorms and microsocial rules can interact to define how company managers undertake sustainability reporting in a developing country.

2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (18) ◽  
pp. 10184
Ikenna Elias Asogwa ◽  
Maria Estela Varua ◽  
Peter Humphreys ◽  
Rina Datt

NGOs are expected by their social mission not only to assess but to report on sustainability issues in response to the growing public awareness of the sustainability agendas. Since NGOs are globally renowned as watchdogs for advancing socio-economic development and sustainable societies, research on their efforts in this regard will help develop recommendations on how they can be better positioned as the watchdog. The purpose of this article is to review and assess the understanding of sustainability (reporting) in NGO literature as well as the barriers and drivers. The study investigates various practices of sustainability and identifies the drivers and barriers in sustainability reporting (SR). The authors reviewed 61 articles published between 2010 and 2020 on sustainability and assessed the strengths and weaknesses in the understanding of sustainability in literature as well as the reporting phenomenon in NGOs. The misconceptions in the definition of SR tend to weaken its relevance and applicability, and the reporting process is often focused on demonstrating the legitimacy of NGOs rather than improving their performance. As such, it provides more evidence in support of the need for a more holistic and all-inclusive definition that will aid regulation and enforcement. We also found that, although it is often assumed all NGOs share similar objectives, it is not always the case as there are as diverse objectives as there are numbers of NGOs and their reporting pattern varies in accordance with this diversity. The review makes a case for a more comprehensive definition of SR suitable for NGOs using four elements as well as providing suggestions for where research in this area might focus to enhance the overall body of knowledge. The study contributes to theory and practice by introducing new elements guiding the definition of SR in NGOs which supports accountability and proper functioning of a circular economy and promotes sustainable development.

Febrian Kwarto ◽  
Nunuy Nurafiah ◽  
Harry Suharman ◽  
Muhammad Dahlan

sustainability reporting, critical paradigm, upstream oil, and gasThe operating activities of the upstream oil and gas industry directly impact the environment. This industry faces significant social challenges and directly impacts the environment. Many Reputable international sustainability institutions organize sustainability awards. However, community conditions do not have a positive impact on sustainability practices. There are vari-ous serious violations related to sustainability, environmental pollution, multiple cases of cor-ruption, human rights, and other violations. In contrast, the companies receiving this award also received inspection findings of violations committed by The Audit Board of the Republic of In-donesia. This study uses critical discourse analysis that begins with phenomena related to viola-tions of sustainability reporting from scientific journals and other references using a systematic literature review approach over the last ten years. It produces a critical paradigm that is not val-ue-free, which is the basis for framing thought utilizing the theory of hegemony. The results of this study indicate that the upstream oil and gas industries are obliged to implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices and Sustainability Reports (SR), has biased factors that are contrary to the sustainability concept and are not under the sustainability award based on evi-dence obtained from the stages of manuscript analysis with systematic literature review

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Yuan George Shan ◽  
Junru Zhang ◽  
Manzurul Alam ◽  
Phil Hancock

Purpose This study aims to investigate the relationship between university rankings and sustainability reporting among Australia and New Zealand universities. Even though sustainability reporting is an established area of investigation, prior research has paid inadequate attention to the nexus of university ranking and sustainability reporting. Design/methodology/approach This study covers 46 Australian and New Zealand universities and uses a data set, which includes sustainability reports and disclosures from four reporting channels including university websites, and university archives, between 2005 and 2018. Ordinary least squares regression was used with Pearson and Spearman’s rank correlations to investigate the likelihood of multi-collinearity and the paper also calculated the variance inflation factor values. Finally, this study uses the generalized method of moments approach to test for endogeneity. Findings The findings suggest that sustainability reporting is significantly and positively associated with university ranking and confirm that the four reporting channels play a vital role when communicating with university stakeholders. Further, this paper documents that sustainability reporting through websites, in addition to the annual report and a separate environment report have a positive impact on the university ranking systems. Originality/value This paper contributes to extant knowledge on the link between university rankings and university sustainability reporting which is considered a vital communication vehicle to meet the expectation of the stakeholder in relevance with the university rankings.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (3) ◽  
pp. 97
Fabio Caputo ◽  
Lorenzo Ligorio ◽  
Simone Pizzi

The introduction of Agenda 2030 has impacted the public and private sectors. Agenda 2030 is a document that aims to promote collaboration and partnership between countries and the population for the achievement of 17 SDGs, which cover all the three dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic. Within the public organizations, higher education institutions (HEIs) have shown certain attention on the topic. In particular, for many HEIs, the publication of sustainability reports has represented an instrument to disclose and publicize their commitment to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To shed light on the highly fragmented panorama of the disclosure of SDGs in the context of HEIs, the present study employed a content analysis on publicly available sustainability reports published only by the HEIs that adopted the GRI Standards as reporting guidelines. The results show the centrality of the social and environmental issues within the disclosed information. Moreover, the provision of a thematic analysis on the SDGs disclosure sections revealed the interest of the sampled HEIs in increasing the level of involvement of their stakeholders.

2021 ◽  
Vol 2 ◽  
Jan Beyne ◽  
Wayne Visser ◽  
Imane Allam

This paper is aimed at elucidating the interrelations between reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and integrated thinking. A review of online information on sustainability by port community companies in Antwerp, Belgium was applied. The research made use of a database from Port Plus investigating 769 companies. The data were analyzed using a combination of descriptive and inferential analyses. The research shows that reporting on the SDGs and integrated thinking have reciprocal reinforcing relationships, where the SDGs are a good starting point for planning integrated strategies for sustainability. The article reinforces that using the SDGs in communication and reporting can help companies better and more holistically integrate their efforts for sustainability into their strategies and processes.

2021 ◽  
Vol 95 (7/8) ◽  
pp. 225-232
Dick de Waard

Verslaggeving over duurzaamheid of niet-financiële informatie heeft zich sinds 1990 in een snel tempo ontwikkeld. Gedurende de afgelopen jaren hebben veel verslaggevingsraamwerken het licht gezien, zijn ideeën over de vorm ontstaan, is regelgeving op gang gekomen, is de vraag naar assurance ontstaan en zijn veel verslagen in omvang toegenomen. Ingegeven door deze ontwikkelingen en door de introductie in 2021 van de Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive van de Europese Commissie wordt in deze bijdrage een model uitgewerkt waarin informatie wordt gecombineerd en geïntegreerd, waarbij mogelijkheden worden gesignaleerd om dit alles qua omvang te beperken, een herkenbaar format te creëren en een leesbaar jaarverslag te publiceren. Een jaarverslag in drie hoofdstukken: het bestuursverslag, de financiële jaarrekening en de niet-financiële jaarrekening, voorzien van assurance door de accountant.

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