Inter-linking issues and dimensions in sustainability reporting

  • Lozano R
  • Huisingh D
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Abstract

During the last decade, Sustainability Reporting (SR) has been increasingly adopted by corporations worldwide. This is evidenced by the adoption of several guidelines, such as the ISO 14000 series, the Social Accountability 8000 standard, and the GRI Sustainability Guidelines. SR shows promise to help corporate leaders and their employees to contribute towards achieving sustainable societies. However, most of the guidelines and standards address sustainability issues through comparmentalisation, thereby, leading to the separation of the economic, environmental, and social dimensions. Due to these divisive approaches, holistic assessments of the effects of their efforts are seldom properly integrated into coporate decisions and procedures to make improvements for example through Cleaner Production, Worker Health and Safety, Consumer Safety, and reductions in the negative short and long-term Social and Environmental Impacts. This paper analyses SR reports from three companies with the help of Grounded Theory's constant comparative analysis. This analytical framework helped the authors to systematically assess the degree to which the companies addressed economic, ecological and social issues separately or in an integrated and inter-linked manner. From the inter-linkages found, a new category is proposed to be added to future SR. This new category can help corporate SR planners and researchers on sustainability reports to better understand how the company leaders understand their responsibilities with regard to SD. These inter-connectednesses are highly relevant in many short and long-term dimensions of supply chain management, global warming, ecological disruption and societal equity issues, especially with regard to the local, national and global energy issues of fuels and oils, the central themes of the conference at which this paper was originally presented. It also plays a key role in real, long-term changes towards Sustainability, where the time dimension plays a key role in human survival on Planet Earth. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Cleaner production
  • Climate change
  • Consumer safety
  • Gounded theory
  • Inter-linkages
  • Sustainability reporting
  • Sustainable development
  • Worker health and safety

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