The purpose of this thesis is to explain and analyze the development of mandatory and voluntary ESG reporting between 2014 and 2018 of banks in Denmark. The topic of the thesis was motivated by an increased importance of addressing issues relating to the environment and climate change. This has received increased attention from global society over the last three decades. The grown interest has spawned lots of initiatives, that have resulted in the production of a number of standards and frameworks, which companies voluntarily can base their ESG-reporting on. In addition, mandatory reporting in the area has been introduced by national and European legislation. This thesis, more specifically, examines the development of the banks’ ESG reporting. The thesis is based on empirical data collected by using a content analysis of banks’ annual reports and ESG reports. Four different groupings of banks are included in the thesis. The banks in three of the four groupings are based in Denmark. The purpose has been to investigate how ESG reporting has developed over time in banks. In conducting this analysis, the thesis makes a distinction between mandatory reporting requirements and voluntary. The analysis uses a theoretical framework that combines legitimacy theory, stakeholder theory and multilevel governance. The results have shown that only bigger banks of a certain size draw upon voluntary and mandatory reporting, while smaller banks exclusively try to comply with the mandatory requirements of the legislation through their ESG reporting. The ESG reporting within the Danish banking sector has become more informative due to stricter regulatory requirements. In addition, the largest banks of Denmark have welcomed the SDGs and incorporated them into their reporting, thereby contributing to sustainable development, as an international effort.
|Uddannelser||Cand.merc.aud Regnskab og Revision, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|
|Vejledere||Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan|