Sustainability Reports Should Have Nothing To Do With CSR

Primary tabs

Sustainability Reports Should Have Nothing To Do With CSR

by Dr. Donato Calace
tweet me:
#Sustainability #Reports Should Have Nothing To Do With #CSR || Read more: http://3bl.me/76w293 via @CSRwire

Multimedia from this Release

Dr. Donato Calace is a Ph.D. student in the international program “The Economics and Management of Natural Resources”.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 12:30pm

Obviously, sustainability reporting regards CSR. I am a researcher in the field of corporate sustainability, and non-financial reporting is my main research interest. I have investigated the relationship between non-financial disclosure and environmental performance, reporting and market value, national culture and sustainability reporting, as well as sustainability reporting in SMEs. My studies and experience brought me to the position shortened in the title.

When I first approached the sustainability reporting phenomenon, I strongly believed in the equivalence between disclosure and sustainability performance. The equation was quite clear in my head: the more a company discloses the better its performance is. Non-financial reporting is a voluntary practice, so if a company discloses information about relevant (today we would say “material”) social and environmental issues it means that it is a good performer, as it wants to show its superior ability to pursue the so-called triple bottom line. Worst performers, instead, prefer to remain silent. Elementary signaling theory.

Then, I discovered that many environmental offenders do a lot of sustainability reporting. Clearly, my elementary signaling theory was not working. One can argue that good performers are using reporting as an “opportunity platform” to signal their superior management, while bad performers are using it as a “safety net” to defend their legitimacy to operate. Still, the two positions share a common limit: they conceive the report only as a green marketing pamphlet. This entire reporting thing is powerfully driven by external motivations such as the attainment of legitimacy and reputation.

Click here to continue reading on CSRwire

Dr. Donato Calace is a Ph.D. student in the international program “The Economics and Management of Natural Resources” jointly developed by the LUM Jean Monnet University - Italy, Megatrend University, Belgrad (Serbia), China Three Gorges University (CTGU) - China, Louisiana Tech  University - USA and Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University (SPbSFTU) – Russia. He has been working in the sustainability reporting field for 2 years, analyzing the relationship between non-financial disclosure and environmental performance, reporting and market value, national culture and sustainability reporting. He presented the results of his studies in international conferences such as the OFEL International Conference, the IFKAD International Conference, the CSR Trends International Conference. He published on the International Journal of Business Administration and he is serving as Associate Editor for the EMNR Working Paper Series of the LUM University Ph.D. program.

Keywords: Research, Reports & Publications | CSR Reports | CSRwire | Culture | Events, Media & Communications | Reputation | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | environment | sustainability

parse.ly