The Significance of Sustainability Reporting to the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals
Abstract: The pressure on corporations (economic drivers) to formally report on the social and environmental impact of their activities has led to an increasing corporate sustainability reporting, some of which have adopted sustainability reporting frameworks, such as the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Guidelines. This, therefore, necessitates the need to do a thorough analysis of these reporting trend to determine whether the increased corporate sustainability reporting is just mimicry (imitation) or an indication of sincere corporate commitment and contribution to sustainable development. Using the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) as benchmark, this study analyzed the sustainability reports of 25 of the Global 250 companies to determine the significance of the reported performance indicators to the SDGs benchmark. This study relies on the sustainability performance reports of the select companies, as contained in Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database, as the main source of data. The performance indicators of these companies are indexed and analyzed using One-Way Analysis of Variance – to determine the significance of the overall changes in performance indicators over the study period (2013 – 2107), and Tukey post hoc test – to examine the significant changes before and after the launch of sustainable development goals. The findings of this study will be of benefit to the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in monitoring sustainability performances, and other stakeholder groups passionate about creating a sustainable environment. This may lead to a call for a renewed collaboration, regulation or monitoring. This study considers sustainability performance of few corporations, thus, this will prompt researchers, who have focused on the benefit of sustainability reporting to the preparers (corporations), to conduct an in-depth study on the significance of sustainability reporting in creating a sustainable future.
Keywords: Sustainability reporting, sustainable development, sustainable development goals, economic drivers, Global Reporting Initiative
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