Companies’ sustainability performance in the light of CSR reporting requirements

Alexandru Giurgilă

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Over the past decade, Corporate Social Responsibility has gained increasing awareness in the whole society. This triggered a growing trend among companies of publishing CSR reports reflecting their sustainability efforts. At the same time, governments across the world started to request companies to publish Sustainability reports in an attempt to make them act more sustainable. But is this true? Do companies become more sustainable as a result of CSR reporting requirements? The author started exploring the literature on the matter in order to find an answer to these questions. The literature is scarce thus, leaving a blank space to which this paper aims to bring its contributions. The study of the current thesis is based on ESG (Environmental, Social and corporate Governance) data reflecting companies’ sustainability performance. Through an inductive approach, the ESG data is analysed in the light of CSR reporting requirements for ten countries. This approach enables the investigation of whether the sustainability performance is shaped by reporting regulations. The results show that indeed, the sustainability performance of companies is influenced by the reporting requirements. By analysing the three ESG pillars taken separately, the author proves the connection between reporting regulations and the individual E, S and G performance, showing that companies tend to pay more attention to one pillar or another should the regulators desire so. The paper proves the connection between reporting requirements and companies’ sustainability performance thus, contributing to the currently underdeveloped state of research on the matter. It offers a brief description of similar studies and relates them to the findings of the current study. Moreover, it serves as a useful reading for those interested in what shapes sustainability and could serve as a basis for future reports to be analysed by governments and stock exchanges considering to introduce CSR reporting regulations.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages90