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1 – 10 of over 1000
Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Federica Farneti and John Dumay

This article critically reviews the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and recommended sustainability topics for public agencies, and presents normative…

Abstract

Purpose

This article critically reviews the latest Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and recommended sustainability topics for public agencies, and presents normative argument by using Gray’s (2006) ecological and eco-justice (EEJ) approach to produce public value inscriptions of sustainability to represent sustainable public value.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents a critical analysis and discussion of the changes to the GRI G4 and sustainability topics for public agencies from a managerialistic and EEJ approach.

Findings

We observe that the GRI continues to evolve while paying scant attention to furthering the Sector Supplement for Public Sector Agencies as it remains in its pilot form since its inception in 2005. Changes to the GRI are somewhat enlightening because several of the changes do begin to address a more comprehensive view of how any organization, including public agencies, can contribute to an EEJ approach to sustainability.

Practical implications

In the future it is important to be aware that, as inscriptions, the GRI guidelines have the potential power to influence how managers in public agencies approach sustainability. As Dumay, Guthrie, and Farneti (2010) previously argued, if guidelines continue to approach sustainability from a ‘managerialistic’ approach then there is little hope of public sector agencies adopting EEJ practices. We argue that organizations should act referring to Gray’s EEJ approach.

Details

Public Value Management, Measurement and Reporting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-011-7

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 August 2022

Salomon Obahoundje, Vami Hermann N'guessan Bi, Arona Diedhiou, Ben Kravitz and John C. Moore

Three Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models involved in the G4 experiment of the Geoengineering Model Inter-comparison Project (GeoMIP) project were used to…

Abstract

Purpose

Three Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 models involved in the G4 experiment of the Geoengineering Model Inter-comparison Project (GeoMIP) project were used to investigate the impact of stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) on the mean surface air temperature and precipitation extremes in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

This impact was examined under G4 and Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 scenarios on the total precipitation, the number of rainy days (RR1) and of days with heavy rainfall (R20 mm), the rainfall intensity (SDII), the maximum length of consecutive wet (CWD) and dry (CDD) days and on the maximum rainfall in five consecutive days (Rx5day) across four regions: Western Africa (WAF), Eastern Africa (EAF), Northern Africa and Southern Africa (SAF).

Findings

During the 50 years (2020–2069) of SAI, mean continental warming is −0.40°C lower in G4 than under RCP4.5. During the post-injection period (2070–2090), the temperature continues to increase, but at a lower rate (−0.19°C) than in RCP4.5. During SAI, annual rainfall in G4 is significantly greater than in RCP4.5 over the high latitudes (especially over SAF) and lower over the tropics. The termination of SAI leads to a significant increase of rainfall over Sahel and EAF and a decrease over SAF and Guinea Coast (WAF).

Practical implications

Compared to RCP4.5, SAI will contribute to reducing significantly regional warming but with a significant decrease of rainfall in the tropics where rainfed agriculture account for a large part of the economies. After the SAI period, the risk of drought over the extratropical regions (especially in SAF) will be mitigated, while the risk of floods will be exacerbated in the Central Sahel.

Originality/value

To meet the Paris Agreement, African countries will implement mitigation measures to contribute to keep the surface air temperature below 2°C. Geoengineering with SAI is suggested as an option to meet this challenge, but its implication on the African climate system needs a deep investigation in the aim to understand the impacts on temperature and precipitation extremes. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the potential impact of SAI using the G4 experiment of GeoMIP on temperature and precipitation extremes of the African continent.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Melanie Lubinger, Judith Frei and Dorothea Greiling

Materiality, as a content-selection principle, is an emerging trend in sustainability reporting for making sustainability reports (SRs) more relevant for stakeholders. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Materiality, as a content-selection principle, is an emerging trend in sustainability reporting for making sustainability reports (SRs) more relevant for stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether materiality matters in the reporting practice of universities which have adopted the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines.

Design/methodology/approach

Strategic stakeholder theory and sociological institutionalism serve for deriving conflicting expectations about the compliance of universities with the materiality principle. In the empirical section of this paper, content analyses are conducted on the documented material aspects, followed by a correlation analysis for examining to which extent the identified material aspects are reported in the SRs.

Findings

Although universities document G4-19 stakeholder-material aspects according to different relevance levels and for internal and external stakeholder groups, the identified material aspects are not appropriately reported in the SRs. The adoption of the materiality principle is a superficial one and therefore more in line with the expectations of sociological institutionalism.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation for this study is the small number of university SRs available. The chance to make SRs more relevant by focusing on stakeholder-material aspects is not used.

Originality/value

This paper reports the first study looking at the compliance between the documented material aspects and the content of SRs in a particular challenging organisational field, the university sector. This paper also adds to the emerging theoretical discussion about the extent universities implement materiality in SRs.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1997

Chi‐nien Chung

In this paper, I demonstrate an alternative explanation to the development of the American electricity industry. I propose a social embeddedness approach (Granovetter…

Abstract

In this paper, I demonstrate an alternative explanation to the development of the American electricity industry. I propose a social embeddedness approach (Granovetter, 1985, 1992) to interpret why the American electricity industry appears the way it does today, and start by addressing the following questions: Why is the generating dynamo located in well‐connected central stations rather than in isolated stations? Why does not every manufacturing firm, hospital, school, or even household operate its own generating equipment? Why do we use incandescent lamps rather than arc lamps or gas lamps for lighting? At the end of the nineteenth century, the first era of the electricity industry, all these technical as well as organizational forms were indeed possible alternatives. The centralized systems we see today comprise integrated, urban, central station firms which produce and sell electricity to users within a monopolized territory. Yet there were visions of a more decentralized electricity industry. For instance, a geographically decentralized system might have dispersed small systems based around an isolated or neighborhood generating dynamo; or a functionally decentralized system which included firms solely generating and transmitting the power, and selling the power to locally‐owned distribution firms (McGuire, Granovetter, and Schwartz, forthcoming). Similarly, the incandescent lamp was not the only illuminating device available at that time. The arc lamp was more suitable for large‐space lighting than incandescent lamps; and the second‐generation gas lamp ‐ Welsbach mantle lamp ‐ was much cheaper than the incandescent electric light and nearly as good in quality (Passer, 1953:196–197).

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 17 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Ranjan Kumar, Neerja Pande and Shamama Afreen

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine sustainability reporting (SR) practices of top 10 Indian banks, on parameters derived from a Global Reporting Initiative…

1552

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine sustainability reporting (SR) practices of top 10 Indian banks, on parameters derived from a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-G4-based persuasive communication framework.

Design/methodology/approach

SR metrics from GRI-G4 guidelines were mapped to persuasive communication parameters to develop a blended analytical framework. Content analysis (CA) technique was used to assess SR of top 10 banks on this framework.

Findings

The study has three key findings. First, most of the top 10 Indian banks are yet to adopt adequate disclosure and transparency practices in SR. Second, even though environmental and social goals are broadly reported, there are glaring omissions on metrics like “equal remuneration,” “occupational health and safety” and “customer privacy.” Third, stakeholder engagement focus is weak as reflected in low persuasive appeal of SR content of most banks.

Research limitations/implications

The blended framework provides a theoretical and analytical pathway for operationalizing the sustainability context principle, which has been inadequately addressed even within the GRI framework implementation.

Practical implications

The paper provides a “health check” and identifies “red flags” in SR of top 10 Indian banks, enabling them to undertake a critical review of their sustainability metrics and reporting practices.

Social implications

The paper establishes the significance of evaluating non-financial reporting practices addressing broader sustainability metrics in the banking sector, in an emerging economy context.

Originality/value

This paper develops a GRI-G4-based persuasive communication framework for SR assessment, and conducts an evaluation of top 10 Indian banks using CA technique.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2022

Akshay Jadhav, Shams Rahman and Kamrul Ahsan

This study explores the scope, materiality and extent of environmental and social sustainability disclosure – as benchmarked against the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the scope, materiality and extent of environmental and social sustainability disclosure – as benchmarked against the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI-G4) – of the top 10 logistics firms operating in Australia. It also investigates the relationships between the extent of environmental and social sustainability disclosure of these firms and their actual financial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted an inductive case study approach for an in-depth investigation of the relationships among concepts. A content analysis of the firms' sustainability reports was performed to determine their pattern and extent of sustainability disclosure against the GRI framework. A disclosure–performance analysis (DPA) matrix was employed to relate the extent of environmental and social sustainability disclosure of these 10 firms with their actual financial performance (i.e. return on assets [ROA] and total revenue growth).

Findings

This study found that the extent of sustainability reporting was relatively high on the labour practices and decent work subgroup, followed by the environmental dimension of the GRI-G4 framework. However, it was relatively low on the society, human rights and product responsibility subgroups of the GRI framework. The DPA revealed that “Leaders” (firms with higher sustainability disclosure levels) achieved significantly higher ROA. However, “Opportunists” (firms with lower sustainability disclosure levels) achieved higher levels of financial returns (i.e. ROA and total revenue growth) with less attention to sustainability issues, which contradicts the win-win view of the sustainability disclosure–financial performance relationship.

Originality/value

First, this study contributes an in-depth review of sustainability disclosure practices of top logistics firms operating in Australia. Second, using DPA, it identifies the novel effects of environmental and social sustainability disclosure levels on these firms' financial performance. It also sheds further light on the potential effect of investments beyond substantial profitability for sustainability growth and corporate governance on the sustainability disclosure–financial performance relationship.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Barry Ackers and Susanna Elizabeth Grobbelaar

Despite initially being lauded as a revolutionary approach for companies to account to all stakeholders, the shareholder orientation of the international integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite initially being lauded as a revolutionary approach for companies to account to all stakeholders, the shareholder orientation of the international integrated reporting (<IR>) framework gave rise to questions about whether integrated reports would still sufficiently disclose pertinent corporate social responsibility (CSR) information. This paper aims to investigate the extent to which the <IR> framework has impacted the CSR disclosures contained in integrated reports of South African mining companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study deployed a mixed methods research approach, involving thematic content analysis of the CSR disclosures contained in the integrated reports of mining companies with primary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The resultant qualitative data were subsequently analysed using a T-test of difference.

Findings

The study observes that the release of the <IR> framework appears to have had a limited impact on the CSR disclosures in the integrated reports of most companies included in the study. However, where significant differences were identified, the CSR disclosures of some companies were positively impacted after the release of the <IR> framework, whilst others were negatively impacted.

Research limitations/implications

As South Africa is acknowledged as a leader in the global <IR> movement, the paper’s observations have global relevance and suggest that the fundamental principles of <IR> should be reconsidered to improve the alignment with stakeholders’ information needs, as originally conceived.

Originality/value

Despite the shareholder orientation of the <IR> framework, the global mining industry is acknowledged as being at the forefront of implementing CSR interventions to mitigate the adverse impacts of their operations on stakeholders, supporting a stakeholder orientation. As the adoption of <IR> continues to gain traction around the world, this paper’s contribution is that it represents one of the few papers to use the global reporting initiative G4 indicators to specifically examine the impact of <IR> framework on the CSR disclosures on the South African mining industry, where both <IR> and CSR reporting are quasi-mandatory disclosure requirements.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 November 2019

Johannes Slacik and Dorothea Greiling

Materiality as an emerging trend aims to make sustainability reports (SR) more relevant for stakeholders. This paper aims to investigate whether the reporting practice of…

2124

Abstract

Purpose

Materiality as an emerging trend aims to make sustainability reports (SR) more relevant for stakeholders. This paper aims to investigate whether the reporting practice of electric utility companies (EUC) is in compliance with the materiality principle of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) when disclosing SR.

Design/methodology/approach

A twofold content analysis focusing on material aspects (MAs) is conducted, followed by correlation analysis. Logic and conversation theory (LCT) serves to evaluate the communication quality of documented materiality in SR by EUC.

Findings

The coverage and quality of documented MAs in SR by EUC do not meet the requirements for relevant and transparent communication. Materiality does not guide the reporting practice and is not taken seriously.

Research limitations/implications

Mediocre quality of coverage and communication in SR shows that stakeholders’ information needs are not considered adequately. The content analysis is limited in focusing on merely documented aspects rather than on actual performance.

Originality/value

This study considers the quality of communication of documented materiality through the lens of LCT. It contributes to the academic debate by introducing LCT as a viable theoretical perspective for analyzing SR. The paper evaluates GRI-G4 reporting practices in the electricity sector, which, while under-researched is crucial for sustainability. It also contributes to the emerging body of empirical research on the relevance of materiality as a guiding principle for sustainability reporting.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 June 2020

Johannes Slacik and Dorothea Greiling

Electric utility companies (EUC) are expected to play a key role toward implementing ambitious climate change aims being under critical scrutiny by regulators and…

1298

Abstract

Purpose

Electric utility companies (EUC) are expected to play a key role toward implementing ambitious climate change aims being under critical scrutiny by regulators and stakeholders. However, EUC provide an under-researched field regarding sustainability reporting with the focus on economic, social and ecological concerns. This paper aims to gain insights of the sustainability reporting practice of EUC and the coverage of indicators based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-Guidelines.

Design/methodology/approach

A twofold documentary analysis of 186 GRI-G4 sustainability reports by EUC globally is conducted to investigate the coverage rates of G4-indicators. Neo-institutionalism and strategic stakeholder theory serve as theoretical lenses. A regression analysis is used to examine ownership, stock-exchange listing, area of activity and region as potential drivers of sustainability reporting.

Findings

Results show that the coverage of indicators based on triple-bottom-line dimensions is moderate in EUC leaving room for improvement. The coverage of sector-specific indicators lacks behind the coverage of standard disclosure indicators. Results show that private and listed EUC show better coverage rates than public and not-listed EUC.

Research limitations/implications

Neo-institutionalism shows limited homogenization in the sector. Strategic stakeholder theory demonstrates insufficient stakeholder compliance of public and not-listed EUC.

Originality/value

This study contributes to sustainability reporting research by focusing on the under-researched electricity sector. It provides practical reporting insights for EUC, the GRI and regulators.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2015

Harish C. Chandan

This chapter discusses how businesses can create alignment between their corporate sustainability (CS) efforts that focus on the triple bottom line of the financial…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter discusses how businesses can create alignment between their corporate sustainability (CS) efforts that focus on the triple bottom line of the financial, environmental, and social, and the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact in the four core areas of environment, human rights, labor standards, and anticorruption.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature review, the relationship between CS and corporate responsibility is presented. Creating alignment between CS management and Global Compact initiatives requires knowledge of the Global Reporting Initiative (G4-GRI), third-party CS rankings, green supply chain management, and anticorruption strategies.

Findings

UN Global Compact is an international forum to promote and self-report CS and corporate social responsibility [Bitanga & Bridwell, 2010. CS is achieved through a triple bottom line – financial, environmental, and social (Hutchins & Sutherland, 2008). For CS management, businesses use four strategies including defensive, cost-benefit, strategic, and innovation/learning [Buchholtz & Carroll, 2008; Egbeleke, Journal of Management and Sustainability, 4(2), 92–105 (2014); Epstein, 2008; Epstein, Buhovac, & Yuthas, 2010]. The UN G4-GRI is the most widely used comprehensive sustainability reporting standard in the world (G4-GRI, 2013). Third-party, industry sector-specific CS ratings reinforce the self-reported sustainability reports. Each firm has to conduct their own CS cost-benefit analysis to determine how CS practices can lead to value creation for sustained competitive advantage. Creating alignment with Global Compact initiatives offers firms a marketing advantage. Conducting business in accordance with the Global Compact is a value-increasing business strategy [Kaspereit & Lopatta, 2011; Lopatta & Kaspereit, 2014; Michelon, Corporate Reputation Review, 14(2), 79–96 (2011)]. Green supply chain management is essential for CS (Penfield, 2014). Four prevailing anticorruption frameworks or intervention policy approaches include law enforcement, economics, moralism, and cultural relativism (Bellows, 2013). There is little sustainability reporting in the government and public-sector organizations (Adams, Muir, & Hoque, 2014).

Research limitations/implications

It is difficult to quantify the financial and social benefits of aligning the CS efforts with the 10 principles of UN Global Compact [Parisi, Journal of Management and Governance, 17(1), 71–97 (2013); Nilipour & Nilipour, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(9), 1084–1092 (2012)]. The environmental impact can be easily quantified.

Practical implications

As the primary driver of globalization, businesses and other organizations can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology, and finance advance in ways that benefit environment, economies, and societies in both developed and developing countries leading to sustained development.

Originality/value of the chapter

The role of green supply chain management and anticorruption strategies in CS management is explored.

Details

The UN Global Compact: Fair Competition and Environmental and Labour Justice in International Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-295-1

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 1000