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Article
Publication date: 12 December 2017

Ana Zorio-Grima, Laura Sierra-García and Maria A. Garcia-Benau

The purpose of this research is to identify the combinations of factors leading to experience in sustainability reporting by Spanish public universities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to identify the combinations of factors leading to experience in sustainability reporting by Spanish public universities.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 49 public universities in Spain, this paper identifies the combinations of factors on innovation profile, political and internal factors that explain the different degree of corporate social reporting experience with fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis.

Findings

The study’s findings are a contribution to existing literature as the results obtained point out three different configurations leading to this expertise, with a combination of different conditions based on innovation profile, political and internal factors. Also, the results reveal new characteristics of sustainable development strategies by universities, such as devoting a specific sustainability reporting section in the university website, creating a sustainability body in the university structure or submitting the sustainability report to external assurance.

Research limitations/implications

This study refers only to Spanish public universities. In the future, new studies can enlarge the sample and analyse country effects and impact of public versus private status of universities on sustainability reporting strategies.

Practical implications

The study’s findings are important for university community, regulators and other stakeholders to start considering the need to somehow promote further sustainability reporting and assurance practices by universities, especially in a context of budget restrictions.

Originality/value

This paper opens up a new line of research on sustainability experience using an innovative methodology (fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis) useful with small sample sizes, and provides a complete picture of sustainability reporting by Spanish public universities.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Yaismir Adriana Rivera-Arrubla, Ana Zorio-Grima and María A. García-Benau

This paper aims to look into the new corporate reporting phenomenon, the so-called integrated reporting (IR), so as to assess the information level provided, identify trends and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look into the new corporate reporting phenomenon, the so-called integrated reporting (IR), so as to assess the information level provided, identify trends and explore its determining factors.

Design/methodology/approach

This study looks into the IR disclosure level of the annual reports published by 91 companies in the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s pilot programme. The authors’ empirical research focuses on four areas: the guiding principles of connectivity and materiality, as well as two content elements: the business model and governance. Following extant research on voluntary disclosure, a disclosure index is proposed and some hypotheses are put forward on its connection with some corporate variables.

Findings

The results point out that the disclosure levels of the IRs published by IIRC’s pilot programme members reach medium levels of disclosure. According to the authors’ index, the level of disclosure is significantly associated with the specific environment of organizations (i.e. region and industry), assurance of the report and publication in the IIRC website.

Originality/value

This study makes a relevant contribution, as it presents an innovative IR disclosure index and sheds some light on the disclosure practices of early adopters of IR. This evidence is valuable in understanding the trends in this field and could help the IIRC and other standard setters with a view to improving sustainable development and reporting.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 March 2017

Barbara de Lima Voss, David Bernard Carter and Bruno Meirelles Salotti

We present a critical literature review debating Brazilian research on social and environmental accounting (SEA). The aim of this study is to understand the role of politics in…

Abstract

We present a critical literature review debating Brazilian research on social and environmental accounting (SEA). The aim of this study is to understand the role of politics in the construction of hegemonies in SEA research in Brazil. In particular, we examine the role of hegemony in relation to the co-option of SEA literature and sustainability in the Brazilian context by the logic of development for economic growth in emerging economies. The methodological approach adopts a post-structural perspective that reflects Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory. The study employs a hermeneutical, rhetorical approach to understand and classify 352 Brazilian research articles on SEA. We employ Brown and Fraser’s (2006) categorizations of SEA literature to help in our analysis: the business case, the stakeholder–accountability approach, and the critical case. We argue that the business case is prominent in Brazilian studies. Second-stage analysis suggests that the major themes under discussion include measurement, consulting, and descriptive approach. We argue that these themes illustrate the degree of influence of the hegemonic politics relevant to emerging economics, as these themes predominantly concern economic growth and a capitalist context. This paper discusses trends and practices in the Brazilian literature on SEA and argues that the focus means that SEA avoids critical debates of the role of capitalist logics in an emerging economy concerning sustainability. We urge the Brazilian academy to understand the implications of its reifying agenda and engage, counter-hegemonically, in a social and political agenda beyond the hegemonic support of a particular set of capitalist interests.

Details

Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management: Social and Environmental Accounting in Brazil
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-376-4

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 December 2018

Ralf Isenmann, Remmer Sassen and Walter Leal-Filho

496

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Article
Publication date: 8 March 2022

Laura Sierra García, Helena María Bollas-Araya and María Antonia García Benau

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between corporate reporting on issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the quality of non-financial…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the relationship between corporate reporting on issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the quality of non-financial information (NFI) corroborated by different types of assurors.

Design/methodology/approach

The study methods used include logistic regressions, focusing on data for Spanish listed companies in 2017–2018.

Findings

Analysis shows that companies are more likely to report SDG-related performance when their sustainability report is assured. This association remains constant irrespective of the nature of the assurance, which only became mandatory in Spain following the entry into force of Act 11/2018 in this respect. Moreover, companies that hire KPMG or PwC (two of the big four accounting firms) as assurance providers are more likely to report SDG-related performance than those that hire non-accounting firms. Finally, companies with higher quality assurance statements are more likely to address SDG-related matters.

Research limitations/implications

The authors believe the findings reported in this paper will help decision-makers better understand the quality of organisations’ contributions towards achieving the SDGs. Furthermore, this paper has implications for stakeholders, policymakers, academics and assurance providers concerning the relationship between SDG-related reporting and the quality of NFI.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior research has been undertaken to analyse the relationship between SDG-related company reporting and the assurance of NFI.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2024

Diego Andrés Correa-Mejía, Jaime Andrés Correa-García and María Antonia García-Benau

This study aims to analyse the consistency between what companies say (talk) and what they do (walk) regarding the application of double materiality in their sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse the consistency between what companies say (talk) and what they do (walk) regarding the application of double materiality in their sustainability reports.

Design/methodology/approach

Sustainability reports of 76 European companies that reported the application of double materiality and are listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index were studied through content analysis.

Findings

In total, 67% of the companies studied claim to apply double materiality but do not comply with the guidelines in this respect proposed by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group. Therefore, these companies should be considered label adopters.

Practical implications

This study presents evidence of the existence of label adopters when double materiality is adopted at an early stage, meaning that regulators should seek to control compliance with the minimum requirements established for double materiality. This finding also has implications for assurers, who should consider the degree of real compliance with double materiality requirements when expressing their opinion.

Social implications

The existence of label adopters in the application of double materiality endangers the sustainable development pursued through agreements such as the Green Deal and through the Sustainable Finance policy proposed in Europe.

Originality/value

This work contributes to the emerging literature on double materiality. Unlike previous works, empirical evidence is provided on the changes that companies present in their material issues with the application of double materiality. Moreover, it confirms the existence of label adopters in the application of double materiality.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2021

Yully Marcela Sepúlveda-Alzate, María Antonia García-Benau and Mauricio Gómez-Villegas

This paper aims to propose a measurement of the materiality of environmental, social and governance information (ESG) reported by listed companies belonging to sensitive…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a measurement of the materiality of environmental, social and governance information (ESG) reported by listed companies belonging to sensitive industries in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. This analysis is carried out from the insights of stakeholder theory, legitimacy theory and institutional theory. The research questions addressed are: What type of information is considered as material by Latin American companies? Does this information respond to the environmental and social issues within the context of Latin American companies and the needs of their stakeholders?

Design/methodology/approach

A materiality index is developed from principal component analysis and factor analysis, which are multivariate analysis statistical techniques used in various fields to develop indices. The designed index examines materiality in the sustainability reports of 65 companies for 2017 and 67 companies for 2018. These firms belong to the energy, mining, chemical, construction, construction materials and public services industries in Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Findings

The results show medium-high materiality indices, mostly in Chilean, Mexican and Colombian companies. In addition, issues such as water management, climate change and occupational health and safety are particularly interesting for companies. For the two years studied and from the perspective of material aspects for the company and its stakeholders, energy, mining and utilities (drinking water and sewage) sectors obtained the highest scores. This shows that the disclosure of ESG information is higher in industries related to the exploitation of natural resources that cause adverse effects on the environment such as extractive industries. Both the analysis presented in this paper and the materiality measurement developed, allow social responsibility managers to have a standard on the level of importance allotted to the different topics disclosed in sustainability reports. Additionally, this study provides a perspective of the material issues recognized by sensitive industries with great environmental impact. Similarly, an analysis of the issues considered material by stakeholders is provided. This allows such issues to be compared, identifying similarities and differences among the issues regarded as material by a company and its stakeholders.

Practical implications

The paper opens the debate is open as to whether the information disclosed response to the needs of stakeholders or whether, on the contrary, the materiality analysis is a process that emerges simply from the interests of the company. These demands for qualitative and field research to complement quantitative studies such as this one to research the stakeholders’ engagement processes in context.

Social implications

The paper’s purpose a challenge for future research is to strengthen the use of various methodologies that allow knowing the participation processes in the definition of materiality in the ESG information and the companies’ engagement with stakeholders. This stimulates research in the region, which is still in its infancy.

Originality/value

The international literature contains few studies related to the assessment of materiality for sustainability reporting. So this paper contributes proposes measurement of materiality for ESG information.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Yuli Marcela Suárez-Rico, Mª Antonia García-Benau and Mauricio Gómez-Villegas

This study aims to analyse CSR communication in the Latin American Integrated Market companies using Facebook, by studying disclosure and its determinants along with the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse CSR communication in the Latin American Integrated Market companies using Facebook, by studying disclosure and its determinants along with the legitimacy and interactivity of CSR posts.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of Facebook posts and an index were developed to establish disclosure levels explained by regression modelling. In addition, an analysis of Facebook posts, reactions and comments was carried out.

Findings

Content analysis shows that most of the posts correspond to the categories of society and environment. Regression modelling shows there is a strong association between corporate and board characteristics and disclosure levels. In spite of the dialogic character of Facebook, interactivity levels of messages are low, although high levels of legitimacy are observed in posts by consumer and financial companies.

Research limitations/implications

This study examines companies included in the Latin American Integrated Market. The generalisation of the results is limited to this context.

Practical implications

Understanding CSR communication may enable companies to relate more effectively with their stakeholders and possibly change their practices as a result of the feedback provided.

Originality/value

This study offers an important contribution to the literature on CSR communication by performing an analysis of information disclosure on Facebook and its explanatory factors. Another contribution of this study is its examination of the legitimacy and interactivity of CSR information disclosure in Latin America, a relatively understudied region.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 April 2019

Jonas da Silva Oliveira, Graça Maria do Carmo Azevedo and Maria José Pires Carvalho Silva

This study aims to explore the firm’s and country-level institutional forces that determine banks’ CSR reporting diversity, during the recent global financial crisis.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the firm’s and country-level institutional forces that determine banks’ CSR reporting diversity, during the recent global financial crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

Specifically, this study assesses whether economic and institutional conditions explain CSR disclosure strategies used by 30 listed and unlisted banks from six countries in the context of the recent 2007/2008 global financial crisis. The annual reports and social responsibility reports of the largest banks in Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal were content analyzed.

Findings

The findings suggest that economic factors do not influence CSR disclosure. Institutional factors associated with the legal environment, industry self-regulation and the organization’s commitments in maintaining a dialogue with relevant stakeholders are crucial elements in explaining CSR reporting. Consistent with the Dillard et al.’s (2004) model, CSR disclosure by banks not only stems from institutional legitimacy processes, but also from strategic ones.

Practical implications

The findings highlight the importance of CSR regulation to properly monitor manager’s’ opportunistic use of CSR information and regulate the assurance activities (regarding standards, their profession or even the scope of assurance) to guarantee the proper credibility reliability of CSR information.

Originality/value

The study makes two major contributions. First, it extends and modifies the model used by Chih et al. (2010). Second, drawn on the new institutional sociology, this study develops a theoretical framework that combines the multilevel model of the dynamic process of institutionalization, transposition and deinstitutionalization of organizational practices developed by Dillard et al. (2004) with Campbell’s (2007) theoretical framework of socially responsible behavior. This theoretical framework incorporates a more inclusive social context, aligned with a more comprehensive sociology-based institutional theory (Dillard et al., 2004; Campbell, 2007), which has never been used in the CSR reporting literature hitherto.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Giovanni Fiori, Francesca di Donato and Maria Federica Izzo

The chapter builds on the literature of Agency and Signalling Theories to analyse the corporate governance factors associated with the voluntary decision to prepare an Integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter builds on the literature of Agency and Signalling Theories to analyse the corporate governance factors associated with the voluntary decision to prepare an Integrated Report according to the <IR> International Framework promoted by the IIRC.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is based on the results of a probit regression run with regard to a sample of 35 companies that joined the Pilot Programme in 2011 and 137 similar companies that did not.

Findings

The analysis of two samples of European companies reveals that adhesion to the IR Pilot Programme is positively related to the gender diversity and size of the board.

Research limitations

Further research is required in order to study the differences between listed and non-listed companies in terms of variables affecting the adoption of the <IR> Framework and to increase the time range of our study. In addition, it would be interesting to include other variables capturing different aspects other than corporate governance, since the decision to join the Programme, as the results of our analysis have shown, may also be influenced by other factors, such as strategy decisions and communication policies.

Originality/value

The chapter adds to the existing literature by showing the main governance characteristics that impact the decision to adhere to the IR Pilot Programme. It is also important to the existing literature regarding the role played by gender diversity in corporate governance mechanisms and CSR policies.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Contemporary Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-915-2

Keywords

1 – 10 of 34