Assurance of the leading UK food retailers' corporate social responsibility/sustainability reports

Peter Jones (Emeritus Professor based at the University of Gloucestershire, Business School, Cheltenham, UK)
David Hillier (based at the University of Glamorgan, Centre for Police Studies, Pontypridd, UK)
Daphne Comfort (based at the University of Gloucestershire, Business School, Cheltenham, UK)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Publication date: 28 January 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an exploratory assessment of the employment of assurance in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability reports published by the UK's top ten food retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins with an outline of the characteristics of assurance and the empirical information for the paper is drawn from the assurance material in the CSR/Sustainability reports posted on the internet by five of the selected retailers.

Findings

The findings reveal considerable variation in the nature and the scope of the assurance processes undertaken, at best the accent is on limited assurance and some concerns are expressed about the independence of the assessment process. The paper concludes that these concerns can be seen to reduce the reliability and credibility of the assurance process.

Originality/value

The paper provides an accessible review of how the UK's top ten food retailers are employing external assurance statements as part of their CSR reporting and as such it will interest academics, managers within the retail industry and those professionals and consultants who work with the industry.

Keywords

Citation

Jones, P., Hillier, D. and Comfort, D. (2014), "Assurance of the leading UK food retailers' corporate social responsibility/sustainability reports", Corporate Governance, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 130-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-03-2011-0027

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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