Over the past number of years, interest in companies' social responsibility has increased substantially which has increased focus on sustainability reporting as it is important for companies to be able to document and communicate their efforts and results to the stakeholders. The hopes and efforts of bringing sustainability reporting to the same level as financial reporting have been immense and the initiative that has gained the broadest acceptance internationally is the Global Reporting Initiative's Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (GRI's Guidelines) This Thesis is the final assignment of my MSc in Business Economics and Auditing at Copenhagen Business School and it deals with the comparability of sustainability reports prepared in accordance with GRI's Guidelines. My analysis aims at investigating to which extend the comparability of ten sustainability reports from the European energy sector is feasible. According to the analysis, two tendencies somewhat impede the comparability of the sustainability reports. First, the completeness of the reports is fairly low in some cases. The material topics and indicators covered by the sustainability reports that should enable investors to evaluate the company's performance during the reporting period are partial. Secondly, the analysis reveals a lack of consistency in the information disclosed. This lack of consistency is the result of varying levels of details in the reports as well as deployment of diverse measures, basis for assessment of performance and methods. Hence the conclusion of the analysis is that comparison of sustainability reports is possible only to a certain extent. GRI might enhance comparability of sustainability reports by setting out unambiguous guidelines/accounting policies. However, as compliance with the guidelines is optional the primary effort to raise the level of comparability lies with the reporting companies.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||87|