GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Public and Third Sector Organizations

Public Management Review, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2010

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2011  

James Guthrie

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance; University Of Bologna - Department of Management

John Dumay

Macquarie University

Federica Farneti

The University of Sydney - Discipline of Accounting

Date Written: July 20, 2010

Abstract

This article provides a critique of the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) guidelines, sustainability reporting (SR) guidelines and also examines their applicability to public and third sector organizations. The article finds that these guidelines promote a ‘managerialist’ approach to sustainability rather than an ecological and eco-justice informed approach, potentially causing them to fall into an evaluatory trap. This means that they do not contribute to sustainability. Since public and third sector organizations have yet to take up SR with the same fervour as the private sector, the opportunity exists to learn from the critique of the use of the GRI reports in practice. As such this article examines the implications of this finding for public and third sector organizations. A conclusion is that there is an opportunity for the GRI to develop guidelines further in line with existing practice to increase their relevance and utility.

Keywords: Critique, GRI, Public Sector, SR Guidelines, Sustainability Reporting, Third Sector

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M49

Suggested Citation

Guthrie, James and Dumay, John and Farneti, Federica, GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Public and Third Sector Organizations (July 20, 2010). Public Management Review, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1742167

James Guthrie (Contact Author)

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Sydney - NSW, 2109
Australia

University Of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

P.Le Vittoria 15
Forli', 47121
Italy
+39-0543-374-621 (Phone)

John Dumay

Macquarie University ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2109
Australia
04125073760 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.businessandeconomics.mq.edu.au/contact_the_faculty/all_fbe_staff/john_dumay

Federica Farneti

The University of Sydney - Discipline of Accounting ( email )

H69 Economics and Business Building
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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