Fremme af forretningsdrevet samfundsansvar via ÅRL: Er løsningen hensigtsmæssig?

Christina Nielsen & Christina Bregenholt West

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In previous years, there has been an increased focus on socially related subjects such as the environment, sustainability and working conditions. Consequently, the Danish Government has adopted an action plan regarding the social responsibility of Danish companies. As part of this plan, it has been made obligatory for companies to report about their social responsibility or to write in their annual reports if they haven’t formulated CSR policies. The purpose of this thesis is to clarify and discuss the legal requirements as to companies reporting their social responsibility. In this connection we want to examine whether the requirements will result in advanced strategic CSR. To answer the question of the thesis, we have compared CSR theories with the requirements and related instructions. In addition, we have conducted a questionnaire survey and a few interviews in which we asked some of the participating companies how they plan to act as a result of the adoption of the act. We have found that there are certain primary elements that the company should take into consideration in order to achieve strategic CSR. The legal requirements generally focus on the same elements as the theory. However, it would be appropriate if the requirements and related instructions further recommend companies to involve their stakeholders. Furthermore, the requirements and the instructions should recommend companies to involve society in their CSR thinking with a view to achieving strategic CSR. Our conclusion is that reporting of the company’s work with CSR, contributes to CSR becoming strategic. However, it is important that the reporting is of reasonable quality. For example, it needs to be comparable with the reporting in prior years and other companies’ reporting, and it has to encompass the results regarding the objectives for prior years. We expect the Government’s initiative to underpin strategic CSR, because the legal regulation relates to statutory reporting, and because appropriate quality requirements exist for reporting. In addition, we conclude that some challenges exist regarding the time frame. Many of the companies that are expected to report their CSR activities for the financial year 2009 have not done much to implement or measure their CSR activities yet. Consequently, their reporting will be limited, and a “comply or explain approach” might therefore have been more appropriate than the current wording of the act.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2009
Number of pages143