Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon

Article


Mori Junior, Renzo, Best, Peter J. and Cotter, Julie. 2014. "Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon." Journal of Business Ethics. 120 (1), pp. 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1637-y
Article Title

Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon

ERA Journal ID8465
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMori Junior, Renzo (Author), Best, Peter J. (Author) and Cotter, Julie (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Business Ethics
Journal Citation120 (1), pp. 1-11
Number of Pages11
Year2014
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationDordrecht, Netherlands
ISSN0167-4544
1573-0697
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1637-y
Web Address (URL)http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/189/art%253A10.1007%252Fs10551-013-1637-y.pdf?auth66=1413338656_cdfb502fb2d1daf519df2db018281a1e&ext=.pdf
Abstract

Sustainability reporting and assurance of sustainability reports have been used by organizations in an attempt to provide accountability to their stakeholders. A better understanding of current practices is important to provide a base for comparative and trend analyses. This paper aims to consolidate and provide information on sustainability reporting, assurance of sustainability reports and types of assurance providers. Another aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of these practices for a global sample, comparing results with previous studies, and suggesting opportunities for future research. To accomplish these objectives, a literature review was performed, an analysis of the organizations included in the Fortune Global 500 2010 was completed, and results were presented and consolidated by country. These results demonstrate that all organizations analysed provided some type of information in relation to their social or environmental performance in their official website. The percentage of organizations issuing a sustainability report has been increasing in the last few years. However, the percentage of organizations assuring their sustainability report has stagnated. Types of assurance engagements include those performed by accountants and non-accountants, and new practices have emerged, namely the 'mixed approach' and the 'stakeholder or specialist review'. The analysis also shows that the practices of issuing sustainability reports and having them assured have become a world-wide phenomenon,
occurring in developed, and emerging economies around the world.

Keywordsassurance for sustainability report; assurance provider; Fortune Global 500; sustainability reporting
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500102. Business ethics
440703. Economic development policy
350107. Sustainability accounting and reporting
Public Notes

© 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Published online 8 Feb 2013. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsAustralian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development
Griffith University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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