Ongoing environmental threats have intensified the need for firms to take big leaps forward to operate in a manner that is both ecologically sustainable and socially responsible. This paper aims to assess the degree to which firms are adopting citizen science as a tool to achieve sustainability and social responsibility targets.
This study applies a qualitative content analysis approach to assess the current presence of citizen science in sustainability and social responsibility reports issued by Globescan sustainability leaders and by firms ranked by the Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500.
While the term itself is mostly absent from reports, firms are reporting on a range of activities that could be classified as a form of “citizen science.”
Citizen science can help firms achieve their corporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals and targets. Linking sustainability and social responsibility efforts to this existing framework can help triangulate corporate efforts to engage with stakeholders, collect data about the state of the environment and promote better stewardship of natural resources.
Supporting citizen science can help firms work toward meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals, which have highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts that can engage a broad range of stakeholders in the transition to more sustainable business models.
This paper is the first to examine citizen science in a corporate sustainability and social responsibility context. The findings present information to support improvements to the development of locally relevant science-based indicators; real-time monitoring of natural resources and supply chain sustainability; and participatory forums for stakeholders including suppliers, end users and the broader community.
Millar, E. and Searcy, C. (2020), "The presence of citizen science in sustainability reporting", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 31-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-01-2019-0006Download as .RIS
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