Sustainability reporting: A systematic review

Main Article Content

Emieseifa James Agama Umaru Mustapha Zubairu

Abstract

Sustainability reporting is measuring, disclosing, and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organizational performance toward sustainable development. Using the Systematic Quantitative Assessment Technique, this study reviewed 100 Sustainability Reporting (SR) articles published over the last decade. The intention is to provide insight into the various actions and progress made by the key participants and stakeholders regarding sustainable development and the quality and currency of sustainable reports from 2011 to 2020. Besides this primary objective, this review also sought to understand these SR articles' time distribution, geographic distribution, types, and data collection methods. A study of empirical evidence revealed that SR had attracted a lot more attention in recent years but what is not very clear is the level of commitment from the various stakeholders. The review also revealed the intertwining nature of the SR and sustainable development, which is further enhanced by adopting a robust accounting system. In this case, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the most acceptable, not without criticism. It is argued that the system does not give room for local realities that are often important in providing solutions to problems.

Article Details

How to Cite
AGAMA, Emieseifa James; ZUBAIRU, Umaru Mustapha. Sustainability reporting: A systematic review. Economics, Management and Sustainability, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 2, p. 32-46, nov. 2022. ISSN 2520-6303. Available at: <https://jems.sciview.net/index.php/jems/article/view/167>. Date accessed: 28 jan. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.14254/jems.2022.7-2.3.
Section
Articles

References

Abeydeera, S., Tregidga, H., & Kearins, K. (2016). Sustainability reporting–more global than local?. Meditari Accountancy Research.
Aktaş, R., Kayalidere, K., & Karğin, M. (2013). Corporate sustainability reporting and analysis of sustainability reports in Turkey. International Journal of Economics and Finance, 5(3), 113-125.
Alcaraz-Quiles, F. J., Navarro-Galera, A., & Ortiz-Rodriguez, D. (2015). Factors determining online sustainability reporting by local governments. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 81(1), 79-109.
Ali, M., Hameedi, K., & Almagtome, A. (2019). Does sustainability reporting via accounting information system influence the investment decisions in Iraq. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 9(9), 294-312.
Al‐Shaer, H. (2020). Sustainability reporting quality and post‐audit financial reporting quality: Empirical evidence from the UK. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(6), 2355-2373.
Al-Shaer, H., & Zaman, M. (2016). Board gender diversity and sustainability reporting quality. Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics, 12(3), 210-222.
Al-Wattar, Y. M. A., Almagtome, A. H., & AL-Shafeay, K. M. (2019). The role of integrating hotel sustainability reporting practices into an Accounting Information System to enhance Hotel Financial Performance: Evidence from Iraq. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 8(5), 1-16.
Amran, A., & Haniffa, R. (2011). Evidence in development of sustainability reporting: a case of a developing country. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(3), 141-156.
Amran, A., Lee, S. P., & Devi, S. S. (2014). The influence of governance structure and strategic corporate social responsibility toward sustainability reporting quality. Business Strategy and the environment, 23(4), 217-235.
Antonini, C., Beck, C., & Larrinaga, C. (2020). Subpolitics and sustainability reporting boundaries. The case of working conditions in global supply chains. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Asaolu, T. O., Agboola, A. A., Ayoola, T. J., & Salawu, M. K. (2012). Sustainability reporting in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. COLERM Proceedings, 1, 61-84.
Bellucci, M., Simoni, L., Acuti, D., & Manetti, G. (2019). Stakeholder engagement and dialogic accounting: Empirical evidence in sustainability reporting. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Ben-Amar, W., Chang, M., & McIlkenny, P. (2017). Board gender diversity and corporate response to sustainability initiatives: Evidence from the carbon disclosure project. Journal of business ethics, 142(2), 369-383.
Bergmann, A., & Posch, P. (2018). Mandatory sustainability reporting in Germany: does size matter?. Sustainability, 10(11), 3904.
Boiral, O., & Heras-Saizarbitoria, I. (2020). Sustainability reporting assurance: Creating stakeholder accountability through hyperreality?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 243, 118596
Buallay, A. (2019). Is sustainability reporting (ESG) associated with performance? Evidence from the European banking sector. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal.
Buallay, A. M. (2020). The level of sustainability reporting and its impact on firm performance: the moderating role of a country's sustainability reporting law (Doctoral dissertation, Brunel University London).
Buckley, R. (2012). Sustainability reporting and certification in tourism. Tourism Recreation Research, 37(1), 85-90.
Burhan, A. H. N., & Rahmanti, W. (2012). The impact of sustainability reporting on company performance. Journal of Economics, Business, & Accountancy Ventura, 15(2), 257-272.
Buys, P., Oberholzer, M., & Andrikopoulos, P. (2011). An investigation of the economic performance of sustainability reporting companies versus non-reporting companies: A South African perspective. Journal of Social Sciences, 29(2), 151-158.
Calabrese, A., Costa, R., Ghiron, N. L., & Menichini, T. (2017). Materiality analysis in sustainability reporting: a method for making it work in practice. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 6(3), 439-439.
Cantele, S., Tsalis, T. A., & Nikolaou, I. E. (2018). A new framework for assessing the sustainability reporting disclosure of water utilities. Sustainability, 10(2), 433.
Cho, C. H., Laine, M., Roberts, R. W., & Rodrigue, M. (2015). Organized hypocrisy, organizational façades, and sustainability reporting. Accounting, organizations and society, 40, 78-94.
Choi, S., & Ng, A. (2011). Environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability and price effects on consumer responses. Journal of business ethics, 104(2), 269-282.
Christensen, H. B., Hail, L., & Leuz, C. (2018). Economic analysis of widespread adoption of CSR and sustainability reporting standards. Available at SSRN 3315673.
Dabbicco, G. (2019). The potential role of public sector accounting frameworks towards financial sustainability reporting.In Financial Sustainability of Public Sector Entities (pp. 19-40). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
del Mar Alonso‐Almeida, M., Llach, J., &Marimon, F. (2014). A closer look at the 'Global Reporting Initiative' sustainability reporting as a tool to implement environmental and social policies: A worldwide sector analysis. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 21(6), 318-335.
Dissanayake, D., Tilt, C., &Xydias-Lobo, M. (2016). Sustainability reporting by publicly listed companies in Sri Lanka. Journal of Cleaner Production, 129, 169-182.
Domingues, A. R., Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K., & Ramos, T. B. (2017). Sustainability reporting in public sector organisations: Exploring the relation between the reporting process and organisational change management for sustainability. Journal of environmental management, 192, 292-301
Downing, A. S., Wong, G. Y., Dyer, M., Aguiar, A. P., Selomane, O., & Aceituno, A. J. (2021). When the whole is less than the sum of all parts–Tracking global-level impacts of national sustainability initiatives. Global Environmental Change, 69, 102306.
Drigă, I., & Dura, C. (2014). The financial sector and the role of banks in economic development. In 6th International Multidisciplinary Symposium "Universitaria SIMPRO (pp. 10-11).
Ehnert, I., Parsa, S., Roper, I., Wagner, M., & Muller-Camen, M. (2016). Reporting on sustainability and HRM: A comparative study of sustainability reporting practices by the world's largest companies. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(1), 88-108.
Einwiller, S., Ruppel, C., &Schnauber, A. (2016). Harmonization and differences in CSR reporting of US and German companies: Analyzing the role of global reporting standards and country-of-origin. Corporate Communications: An International Journal.
Faisal, F., Tower, G., & Rusmin, R. (2012). Legitimising corporate sustainability reporting throughout the world. Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal, 6(2), 19-34.
Farooq, M. B., & De Villiers, C. (2019). Understanding how managers institutionalise sustainability reporting: Evidence from Australia and New Zealand. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Gnanaweera, K. A. K., & Kunori, N. (2018). Corporate sustainability reporting: Linkage of corporate disclosure information and performance indicators. Cogent Business & Management, 5(1), 1423872.
Guix, M., Bonilla-Priego, M. J., & Font, X. (2018). The process of sustainability reporting in international hotel groups: An analysis of stakeholder inclusiveness, materiality and responsiveness. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 26(7), 1063-1084.
Hahn, R., &Kühnen, M. (2013). Determinants of sustainability reporting: a review of results, trends, theory, and opportunities in an expanding field of research. Journal of cleaner production, 59, 5-21.
Hamad, S., Draz, M. U., & Lai, F. W. (2020). The impact of corporate governance and sustainability reporting on integrated reporting: A conceptual framework. Sage Open, 10(2), 2158244020927431.
Han, H., Yu, J., & Kim, W. (2019). Environmental corporate social responsibility and the strategy to boost the airline's image and customer loyalty intentions. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 36(3), 371-383.
Hassan, A., Elamer, A. A., Fletcher, M., & Sobhan, N. (2020). Voluntary assurance of sustainability reporting: Evidence from an emerging economy. Accounting Research Journal.
Hawkins, C. V., Krause, R., Feiock, R. C., & Curley, C. (2018). The administration and management of environmental sustainability initiatives: A collaborative perspective. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 61(11), 2015-2031.
Herremans, I. M., Nazari, J. A., & Mahmoudian, F. (2016). Stakeholder relationships, engagement, and sustainability reporting. Journal of business ethics, 138(3), 417-435.
Higgins, C., Milne, M. J., & Van Gramberg, B. (2015). The uptake of sustainability reporting in Australia. Journal of Business Ethics, 129(2), 445-468.
Higgins, C., Stubbs, W., & Milne, M. (2018). Is sustainability reporting becoming institutionalised? The role of an issues-based field. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(2), 309-326.
Hongming, X., Ahmed, B., Hussain, A., Rehman, A., Ullah, I., & Khan, F. U. (2020). Sustainability Reporting and Firm Performance: The Demonstration of Pakistani Firms. SAGE Open, 10(3), 2158244020953180.
Hossain, T., Adams, M., & Walker, T. R. (2019). Sustainability initiatives in Canadian ports. Marine Policy, 106, 103519
Horváth, P., Pütter, J. M., Dagilienè, L., Dimante, D., Haldma, T., Kochalski, C., ... & Wagner, J. (2017). Status quo and future development of sustainability reporting in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of East European Management Studies, 221-243.
Iheduru, Ngozi G., and Charles U. Okoro. "Sustainable Reporting and Profitability of Quoted Firms in Nigeria: A Multi-Dimensional Panel Data Study." Australian Finance & Banking Review 3, no. 1 (2019): 1-10.
Jadoon, I. A., Ali, A., Ayub, U., Tahir, M., & Mumtaz, R. (2021). The impact of sustainability reporting quality on the value relevance of corporate sustainability performance. Sustainable Development, 29(1), 155-175.
Jamil, A., Ghazali, N. A. M., & Nelson, S. P. (2020). The influence of corporate governance structure on sustainability reporting in Malaysia. Social Responsibility Journal.
Ioannou, I., & Serafeim, G. (2017). The consequences of mandatory corporate sustainability reporting. Harvard Business School research working paper, (11-100).
Jensen, J. C., & Berg, N. (2012). Determinants of traditional sustainability reporting versus integrated reporting. An institutionalist approach. Business Strategy and the Environment, 21(5), 299-316.
Jones, P., Comfort, D., & Hillier, D. (2016). Materiality in corporate sustainability reporting within UK retailing. Journal of Public Affairs, 16(1), 81-90.
Jones, P., Hillier, D., & Comfort, D. (2016). Materiality and external assurance in corporate sustainability reporting: An exploratory study of Europe's leading commercial property companies. Journal of European Real Estate Research
Junior, R. M., Best, P. J., & Cotter, J. (2014). Sustainability reporting and assurance: A historical analysis on a worldwide phenomenon. Journal of business ethics, 120(1), 1-
Kahupi, I., Hull, C. E., Okorie, O., & Millette, S. (2021). Building competitive advantage with sustainable products–A case study perspective of stakeholders. Journal of Cleaner Production, 289, 125699.
Khan, H. Z., Bose, S., Mollik, A. T., & Harun, H. (2020). "Green washing" or "authentic effort"? An empirical investigation of the quality of sustainability reporting by banks. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Karaman, A. S., Kilic, M., & Uyar, A. (2018). Sustainability reporting in the aviation industry: worldwide evidence. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.
Kaspereit, T., & Lopatta, K. (2016). The value relevance of SAM's corporate sustainability ranking and GRI sustainability reporting in the E uropean stock markets. Business Ethics: A European Review, 25(1), 1-24.
Kozlowski, A., Searcy, C., & Bardecki, M. (2015). Corporate sustainability reporting in the apparel industry: An analysis of indicators disclosed. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management.
Krivačić, D. (2017). Sustainability reporting quality: the analysis of companies in Croatia. Journal of accounting and management, 7(1), 1-14
Kumar, K. Emerging phenomenon of corporate sustainability reporting: Evidence from top 100 NSE listed companies in India. Journal of Public Affairs, e2368.
Laskar, N., & Maji, S. G. (2016). Corporate sustainability reporting practices in India: myth or reality?. Social Responsibility Journal.
Leal Filho, W., Amaro, N., Avila, L. V., Brandli, L., Damke, L. I., Vasconcelos, C. R., ... & Salvia, A. (2021). Mapping sustainability initiatives in higher education institutions in Latin America. Journal of Cleaner Production, 315, 128093
Liu, X., Li, W., & Parsons, K. (2020). Exploring the antecedents of internal auditors' voice in environmental issues: Implications from China. International Journal of Auditing, 24(3), 396-411.
Lo, K. Y., & Kwan, C. L. (2017). The effect of environmental, social, governance and sustainability initiatives on stock value–Examining market response to initiatives undertaken by listed companies. Corporate social responsibility and environmental management, 24(6), 606-619.
Loh, L., Thomas, T., & Wang, Y. (2017). Sustainability reporting and firm value: Evidence from Singapore-listed companies. Sustainability, 9(11), 2112.
Magee, L., Scerri, A., James, P., Thom, J. A., Padgham, L., Hickmott, S., ... & Cahill, F. (2013). Reframing social sustainability reporting: Towards an engaged approach. Environment, development and sustainability, 15(1), 225-243.
Mahmood, Z., & Uddin, S. (2020). Institutional logics and practice variations in sustainability reporting: evidence from an emerging field. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Maj, J. (2018). Embedding diversity in sustainability reporting. Sustainability, 10(7), 2487.
Manetti, G. (2011). The quality of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting: empirical evidence and critical points. Corporate social responsibility and environmental management, 18(2), 110-122.
Manetti, G., & Toccafondi, S. (2012). The role of stakeholders in sustainability reporting assurance. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(3), 363-377.
Marimon, F., del Mar Alonso-Almeida, M., del Pilar Rodríguez, M., & Alejandro, K. A. C. (2012). The worldwide diffusion of the global reporting initiative: what is the point?. Journal of cleaner production, 33, 132-144.
Masud, M. A. K., Nurunnabi, M., &Bae, S. M. (2018). The effects of corporate governance on environmental sustainability reporting: Empirical evidence from South Asian countries. Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, 3(1), 1-26.
Mikulewicz, M. (2019). Thwarting adaptation's potential? A critique of resilience and climate-resilient development. Geoforum, 104, 267-282.
Milne, M. J., & Gray, R. (2013). W (h) ither ecology? The triple bottom line, the global reporting initiative, and corporate sustainability reporting. Journal of business ethics, 118(1), 13-29.
Mio, C., Fasan, M., & Costantini, A. (2020). Materiality in integrated and sustainability reporting: A paradigm shift?. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(1), 306-320.
Mion, G., & Loza Adaui, C. R. (2019). Mandatory non-financial disclosure and its consequences on the sustainability reporting quality of Italian and German companies. Sustainability, 11(17), 4612.
Mock, T. J., Rao, S. S., & Srivastava, R. P. (2013). The development of worldwide sustainability reporting assurance. Australian Accounting Review, 23(4), 280-294.
Montecalvo, M., Farneti, F., & De Villiers, C. (2018). The potential of integrated reporting to enhance sustainability reporting in the public sector. Public Money & Management, 38(5), 365-374.
Morioka, S. N., Evans, S., & De Carvalho, M. M. (2016). Sustainable business model innovation: exploring evidences in sustainability reporting. Procedia Cirp, 40, 659-667.
Msengi, I., Doe, R., Wilson, T., Fowler, D., Wigginton, C., Olorunyomi, S., ... & Morel, R. (2019). Assessment of knowledge and awareness of "sustainability" initiatives among college students. Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability, 4, 6.
Niemann, L., & Hoppe, T. (2018). Sustainability reporting by local governments: a magic tool? Lessons on use and usefulness from European pioneers. Public management review, 20(1), 201-223.
O'Dwyer, B., Owen, D., & Unerman, J. (2011). Seeking legitimacy for new assurance forms: The case of assurance on sustainability reporting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 36(1), 31-52.
Ong, T., Trireksani, T., &Djajadikerta, H. G. (2016). Hard and soft sustainability disclosures: Australia's resources industry. Accounting Research Journal
Orenstein, D. E., & Shach-Pinsley, D. (2017). A comparative framework for assessing sustainability initiatives at the regional scale. World Development, 98, 245-256.
Ortas, E., & Moneva, J. M. (2011). Origins and development of sustainability reporting: Analysis of the Latin American context. Journal of Globalization, Competitiveness & Governability/Revista de Globalización, Competitividad y Gobernabilidad/Revista de Globalização, Competitividade e Governabilidade, 5(2), 16-37.
Perez-Batres, L. A., Miller, V. V., Pisani, M. J., Henriques, I., & Renau-Sepulveda, J. A. (2012). Why do firms engage in national sustainability programs and transparent sustainability reporting?. Management international review, 52(1), 107-136.
Pesch, U., Spekkink, W., & Quist, J. (2019). Local sustainability initiatives: innovation and civic engagement in societal experiments. European planning studies, 27(2), 300-317.
Petcharat, N., &Zaman, M. (2019). Sustainability reporting and integrated reporting perspectives of Thai-listed companies. Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting.
Sepasi, S., Rahdari, A., & Rexhepi, G. (2018). Developing a sustainability reporting assessment tool for higher education institutions: The University of California. Sustainable Development, 26(6), 672-682.
Shad, M. K., Lai, F. W., Fatt, C. L., Klemeš, J. J., & Bokhari, A. (2019). Integrating sustainability reporting into enterprise risk management and its relationship with business performance: A conceptual framework. Journal of Cleaner production, 208, 415-425
Siboni, B., del Sordo, C., & Pazzi, S. (2013). Sustainability reporting in state universities: An investigation of Italian pioneering practices. International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development (IJSESD), 4(2), 1-15.
Siew, R. Y. (2015). A review of corporate sustainability reporting tools (SRTs). Journal of environmental management, 164, 180-195.
Stocker, F., de Arruda, M. P., de Mascena, K. M., & Boaventura, J. M. (2020). Stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting: a classification model. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(5), 2071-2080.
Sulkowski, A., & Waddock, S. (2012). Beyond sustainability reporting: integrated reporting is practiced, required, and more would be better. U. St. Thomas LJ, 10, 1060.
Sutopo, B., Kot, S., Adiati, A. K., & Ardila, L. N. (2018). Sustainability Reporting and value relevance of financial statements. Sustainability, 10(3), 678.
Tatoglu, E., Frynas, J. G., Bayraktar, E., Demirbag, M., Sahadev, S., Doh, J., & Koh, S. L. (2020). Why do emerging market firms engage in voluntary environmental management practices? A strategic choice perspective. British Journal of Management, 31(1), 80-100.
Thijssens, T., Bollen, L., & Hassink, H. (2016). Managing sustainability reporting: many ways to publish exemplary reports. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136, 86-101.
Tilt, C. A., Qian, W., Kuruppu, S., & Dissanayake, D. (2020). The state of business sustainability reporting in sub-Saharan Africa: an agenda for policy and practice. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.
Traxler, A. A., Schrack, D., & Greiling, D. (2020). Sustainability reporting and management control–A systematic exploratory literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 122725.
Tsalis, T. A., Malamateniou, K. E., Koulouriotis, D., & Nikolaou, I. E. (2020). New challenges for corporate sustainability reporting: United Nations' 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(4), 1617-1629.
Unerman, J., & Zappettini, F. (2014). Incorporating materiality considerations into analyses of absence from sustainability reporting. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 34(3), 172-186.
Upham, P., Tomei, J., & Dendler, L. (2011). Governance and legitimacy aspects of the UK biofuel carbon and sustainability reporting system. Energy Policy, 39(5), 2669-2678.
Usmani, Z., Sharma, M., Awasthi, A. K., Sivakumar, N., Lukk, T., Pecoraro, L., & Gupta, V. K. (2020). Bioprocessing of waste biomass for sustainable product development and minimizing environmental impact. Bioresource Technology, 124548.
Uwuigbe, U., Teddy, O., Uwuigbe, O. R., Emmanuel, O., Asiriuwa, O., Eyitomi, G. A., & Taiwo, O. S. (2018). Sustainability reporting and firm performance: A bi-directional approach. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 17(3), 1-16.
Vieira, A. P., & Radonjič, G. (2020). Disclosure of eco‐innovation activities in European large companies' sustainability reporting. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(5), 2240-2253.
Zinenko, A., Rovira, M. R., &Montiel, I. (2015). The fit of the social responsibility standard ISO 26000 within other CSR instruments: Redundant or complementary?. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.