The study examines sustainability reporting in the government and not-for-profit organizations (GNFPs). Using a descriptive approach, data from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) are utilized to identify GNFP’s sustainability reporting trends and incentives over the period from 2001 to 2016. The study shows improvement in the GNFPs’ sustainability reporting over the analysis period, especially by larger organizations. In specific, results show that the number of GNFPs that reported has increased over the analysis period, and the number of social, economic, and environmental issues that are reported on has also increased although fragmentally across different GNFPs. In addition, a few GNFPs integrate their sustainability report with their financial report or obtain external assurance. The study shows that GNFPs’ sustainability reporting is motivated by meeting stakeholders’ needs and achieving business goals. Based on these findings, the study identifies future reporting opportunities for GNFPs to improve informativeness and reliability of sustainability reporting with the ultimate goals of improving transparency and accountability. The data used in this study capture only the GNFPs that reported or registered in the GRI database. Thus, future studies may use other data sets or conduct field and case analyses to obtain further insights into the process of adopting and reporting on sustainability and the roles that different stakeholders play in pursuing such efforts. In addition, the study identifies other future research opportunities. The study contributes to the extant literature on sustainability and social responsibility during periods of changing regulatory framework in less-researched organizations that contributes significantly to society.
We thank the editor, Cynthia Jeffrey, anonymous reviewers, Dean Michael Mead, Maryann Malesardi, and the American Accounting Association national meeting participants for their valuable input. All errors are our own.
Alali, F., Chen, Z.(. and Liu, Y.(. (2019), "Sustainability Reporting in Us Government and Not-for-profit Organizations: A Descriptive Study", Baker, C.R. (Ed.) Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting (Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 57-79. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1574-076520190000022005Download as .RIS
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