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Assessing the implementation of sustainable development goals: does integrated reporting matter?

Salaheldin Hamad (Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia and Faculty of Commerce, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr el-Sheikh, Egypt)
Fong Woon Lai (Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)
Muhammad Kashif Shad (Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)
Saleh F.A. Khatib (Azman Hashim International Business School, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia)
Syed Emad Azhar Ali (Department of Management and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023

203

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the performance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of public listed companies (PLCs) in Malaysia through their SDGs disclosure. In addition, it examines the impact of integrated reporting (IR) quality on the SDGs’ performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected from an initial sample of Malaysia’s top 100 market-leading PLCs from 2016 to 2020. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results reveal an increasing trend in SDGs’ performance. Companies contributing toward the 17 SDGs grew from 14% in 2016 to 78% in 2020. On a priority basis, the average score of the five years showed that the Malaysian PLCs are paying more attention to SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth (53%); SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production (43%); and SDG 13 Climate Action (42%). In addition, the fixed effects regression analysis proves that companies with higher IR quality are more likely to provide better SDGs disclosure.

Practical implications

This study provides insights to policymakers, investors and management on the vital role of businesses in supporting the SDGs’ achievement and how IR reveals a turning point in achieving the United Nations SDGs’ agenda.

Social implications

This study provides a clearer understanding of the activities seeking to achieve the SDGs and the influence of IR on them. This opens the debate for future research.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is a pioneer in examining whether the quality of IR influences SDGs disclosure among large companies in one of the emerging economies in Southeast Asia in its early application stage.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) Short Term Internal Research Funding (STIRF) for funding this research under Cost Center: 015LA0-028, which was an important support to conduct this research.

Citation

Hamad, S., Lai, F.W., Shad, M.K., Khatib, S.F.A. and Ali, S.E.A. (2023), "Assessing the implementation of sustainable development goals: does integrated reporting matter?", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 49-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-01-2022-0029

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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