Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon

Junior, Renzo, Best, Peter J. and Cotter, Julie (2014) Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon. Journal of Business Ethics, 120 1: 1-11. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1637-y

Author Junior, Renzo
Best, Peter J.
Cotter, Julie
Title Sustainability reporting and assurance: a historical analysis on a world-wide phenomenon
Journal name Journal of Business Ethics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-4544
Publication date 2014-03
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1637-y
Open Access Status
Volume 120
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Sustainability reporting and assurance of sustainability reports have been used by organizations in an attempt to provide accountability to their stakeholders. A better understanding of current practices is important to provide a base for comparative and trend analyses. This paper aims to consolidate and provide information on sustainability reporting, assurance of sustainability reports and types of assurance providers. Another aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive analysis of these practices for a global sample, comparing results with previous studies, and suggesting opportunities for future research. To accomplish these objectives, a literature review was performed, an analysis of the organizations included in the Fortune Global 500 2010 was completed, and results were presented and consolidated by country. These results demonstrate that all organizations analysed provided some type of information in relation to their social or environmental performance in their official website. The percentage of organizations issuing a sustainability report has been increasing in the last few years. However, the percentage of organizations assuring their sustainability report has stagnated. Types of assurance engagements include those performed by accountants and non-accountants, and new practices have emerged, namely the “mixed approach” and the “stakeholder or specialist review”. The analysis also shows that the practices of issuing sustainability reports and having them assured have become a world-wide phenomenon, occurring in developed, and emerging economies around the world.
Keyword Sustainability reporting and assurance
Assurance for sustainability report
Assurance provider
Fortune Global 500
Sustainability reporting
Sustainability report
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 8 February 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 01 Sep 2014, 12:33:26 EST by Michelle Rowland on behalf of Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining