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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

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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

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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).

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

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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…

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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

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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.

Content available
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…

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

Content available
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…

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1522

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

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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

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Abstract

Details

SDG13 – Climate Action: Combating Climate Change and its Impacts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-915-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

R.A. El‐Adly, E.A.M. Youssef, S.M. El‐Sayed and M.A. Abd El‐Ghaffar

This paper reports on the preparation of six formulations (G1‐G6) containing mixed soap greases based on cotton soap stock, aromatic extract, heavy alkylate and lube base…

Abstract

This paper reports on the preparation of six formulations (G1‐G6) containing mixed soap greases based on cotton soap stock, aromatic extract, heavy alkylate and lube base oil. The physicochemical properties of these ingredients were characterised. The consistency, dropping point and mechanical stability of the formulated greases were assessed and tested in accordance with the National Laboratory for Grease Institute standards, and compared with the Egyptian Standards. The properties of the formulated grease G4 proved to be the best. The work reported also includes preparation of itaconyl‐o‐tolidine‐, itaconyl bisaniline‐ and itaconyl m‐phenylene‐ amide polymers. The structure of these polymers was investigated using infrared spectroscopy, micro analysis and gel permeation chromatography. The polymers prepared were evaluated as antioxidants for the optimum formulated grease G4. The study revealed that the itaconyl m‐phenylene amide polymer was a weak antioxidant, while itaconyl bisaniline‐ and itaconyl‐o‐tolidine amide polymers showed good anti‐oxidation property.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

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