Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

sustainability reporting Related Abstracts

7 Impact of Normative Institutional Factors on Sustainability Reporting

Authors: Lina Dagilienė

Abstract:

The article explores the impact of normative institutional factors on the development of sustainability reporting. The vast majority of research in the scientific literature focuses on mandatory institutional factors, i.e. how public institutions and market regulators affect sustainability reporting. Meanwhile, there is lack of empirical data for the impact of normative institutional factors. The effect of normative factors in this paper is based on the role of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and institutional theory. The case of Global Compact Local Network in the developing country was examined. The research results revealed that in the absence of regulated factors, companies were not active with regard to social disclosures; they presented non-systemized social information of a descriptive nature. Only 10% of sustainability reports were prepared using the GRI methodology. None of the reports were assured by third parties.

Keywords: Institutional Theory, normative, sustainability reporting, Global Compact Local Network

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6 Does Supervisory Board Composition Influence Sustainability Reporting Quality?

Authors: Patrick Velte

Abstract:

Sustainability reporting has become a central element of modern corporate governance practice. This paper is the first to recognize supervisory board independence, sustainable expertise and gender diversity in two European two tier countries and their impact on sustainability reporting quality. For a sample of 188 German and Austrian companies which are listed at the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt and Vienna Stock Exchange for the business years 2012-2013, descriptive findings show that CSR reporting quality is still low in both countries. Furthermore, multiple regressions state that independent and female members in the supervisory board do have a positive impact on CSR reporting quality in Germany and Austria. However, the existence of sustainable experts in the supervisory board both in Germany and Austria shows a positive but insignificant impact. Our findings suggest that the current European corporate governance regulations can be a useful instrument to increase the quality of modern CSR reporting for the stakeholders.

Keywords: gender diversity, Corporate Governance, sustainability reporting, board independence

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5 Is Materiality Determination the Key to Integrating Corporate Sustainability and Maximising Value?

Authors: Ruth Hegarty, Noel Connaughton

Abstract:

Sustainability reporting has become a priority for many global multinational companies. This is associated with ever-increasing expectations from key stakeholders for companies to be transparent about their strategies, activities and management with regard to sustainability issues. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) encourages reporters to only provide information on the issues that are really critical in order to achieve the organisation’s goals for sustainability and manage its impact on environment and society. A key challenge for most reporting organisations is how to identify relevant issues for sustainability reporting and prioritise those material issues in accordance with company and stakeholder needs. A recent study indicates that most of the largest companies listed on the world’s stock exchanges are failing to provide data on key sustainability indicators such as employee turnover, energy, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), injury rate, pay equity, waste and water. This paper takes an indepth look at the approaches used by a select number of international sustainability leader corporates to identify key sustainability issues. The research methodology involves performing a detailed analysis of the sustainability report content of up to 50 companies listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The most recent sustainability report content found on the GRI Sustainability Disclosure Database is then compared with 91 GRI Specific Standard Disclosures and a small number of GRI Standard Disclosures. Preliminary research indicates significant gaps in the information disclosed in corporate sustainability reports versus the indicator content specified in the GRI Content Index. The following outlines some of the key findings to date: Most companies made a partial disclosure with regard to the Economic indicators of climate change risks and infrastructure investments, but did not focus on the associated negative impacts. The top Environmental indicators disclosed were energy consumption and reductions, GHG emissions, water withdrawals, waste and compliance. The lowest rates of indicator disclosure included biodiversity, water discharge, mitigation of environmental impacts of products and services, transport, environmental investments, screening of new suppliers and supply chain impacts. The top Social indicators disclosed were new employee hires, rates of injury, freedom of association in operations, child labour and forced labour. Lesser disclosure rates were reported for employee training, composition of governance bodies and employees, political contributions, corruption and fines for non-compliance. The reporting on most other Social indicators was found to be poor. In addition, most companies give only a brief explanation on how material issues are defined, identified and ranked. Data on the identification of key stakeholders and the degree and nature of engagement for determining issues and their weightings is also lacking. Generally, little to no data is provided on the algorithms used to score an issue. Research indicates that most companies lack a rigorous and thorough methodology to systematically determine the material issues of sustainability reporting in accordance with company and stakeholder needs.

Keywords: Transparency, sustainability reporting, identification of key stakeholders, material issues

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4 Sustainability Reporting and Performances of the Companies in the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability Index

Authors: Zeynep Şahin, Züleyha Yılmaz, Fikret Çankaya

Abstract:

In today's business world, in which it is difficult to survive, the economic life of products, services or knowledge is considerably reduced. Competitors produce similar products or extra-featured ones instantly. In this environment, the contribution of companies to the social and economic environment is a preferred criterion by consumers alongside products or services. Therefore, consumers need to obtain more detailed information about companies. Besides, this drastic change in the market encourages companies to become sustainable. Sustainable business means the company puts consumed products back. Corporate sustainability, corresponds to sustainability at the level of the company, and gives equal importance to company growth and profitability together with environmental and social issues. The BIST Sustainability Index started to be calculated by the Istanbul Stock Exchange (BIST) in 2014 to evaluate the sustainability performance of companies in Turkey. The main objective of this study is to present the importance of sustainability reports in Turkey. To this aim, the performances of 15 companies in the BIST Sustainability Index were compared the periods before and after entering the index. On the other hand, sustainability reporting practices should be encouraged to increase studies on this issue. In this context, to remain on the agenda of the issue is a further objective of this study. To achieve these objectives, the financial data of the companies in the period before and after entering to the BIST Sustainability Index were analyzed using t-test in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) package. The results of the study showed that no significant difference between the performances of the companies in terms of the net profit margin, the return on assets and equity capital in these periods could be found. Therefore, it can be said that insufficient importance is given to sustainability issues in Turkey. The reasons for this situation might be considered as a lack of awareness due to the recent introduction and calculation of the index. It is expected that the awareness of firms and investors about sustainability will increase, and that they will demonstrate the necessary importance to this issue over time.

Keywords: Firm Performance, sustainability index, sustainability reporting, BIST sustainability index

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3 Sustainable Enterprise Theory: A Starting Point for Reporting Sustainable Business Values

Authors: Arne Fagerstrom, Gary Cunningham, Fredrik Hartwig

Abstract:

In this paper, a theory of sustainable enterprises, sustainable enterprise theory (SET), is developed. The sustainable enterprise theory can only be a valid theory if knowledge about life and nature is complete. Knowledge limitations should not stop enterprises from doing business with a goal of better long-term life on earth. Life demands stewardship of the resources used during one’s lifetime. This paper develops a model influenced by (the classical) enterprise theory and resource theory that includes more than money in the business activities of an enterprise. The sustainable enterprise theory is then used in an analysis of accountability and in discussions about sustainable businesses.

Keywords: Sustainable Business, sustainability reporting, sustainable values, theory of the firm

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2 International Trends in Sustainability Reporting Using Global Reporting Initiatives

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan

Abstract:

This study analyses the trend and nature of sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) reporting in firms globally. It presents both trend and panel data of sustainability reports of 798 firms in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) database from 2010 to 2014. The results show some fluctuations in the frequency of sustainability KPI reporting globally across the time while the major focus of reports in firms stayed almost the same. It made us further analyse this trend and found that there are some indicators, such as 'environmental protect expenses' and 'number of grievances', that was barely reported over this period along with some highly popular ones such as 'direct economic value' and 'employment rate'. We could not find any statistical correlation between the KPI reporting percentage and the firms’ industries generally and neither if they belong to environmentally sensitive industries.

Keywords: sustainability reporting, global reporting initiatives, sustainability KPI, trends of sustainability reporting

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1 The Role of Contextual Factors in the Sustainability Reporting of Australian and New Zealand Companies

Authors: Ramona Zharfpeykan

Abstract:

The concept of sustainability is generally considered as a key topic in many countries, and sustainability reporting is becoming an important tool for companies to communicate their sustainability plans and performance to their stakeholders. There have been various studies on factors that may influence sustainability reporting in companies. This study examines the possible effect of some of the organisational factors on corporate sustainability reporting. The organisational factors included in this study are a company’s type (public or private), industry, and size as well as managers’ perception of the level of importance of indicators in reporting these indicators. A survey was conducted from 240 Australian and New Zealand companies in various industries. They were asked about their perception of the importance of sustainability indicators in their performance and if they report these indicators. The GRI indicators used to develop the survey. A multiple regression model was developed using reporting strategy score as dependent and type, size, industry categorisation, and managers’ perception of the level of importance of the GRI indicators as independent factors. The results show that among all the factors included in the model, size of a company and the perception of managers of the level of importance of environmental and labour practice indicators can affect the sustainability scores of these companies.

Keywords: sustainability reporting, global reporting initiative, sustainability reporting strategy, organisational features

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