Company Reporting of Environmental, Social and Gender Matters: Limitations, Barriers, and Changing Paradigms
In Creating Corporate Sustainability. Gender as an Agent for Change, Beate Sjåfjell and Irene Lynch Fannon (eds), Cambridge University Press, 2018
Posted: 16 May 2018
Date Written: May 16, 2018
This chapter highlights the limitations of reporting frameworks and barriers faced by stakeholders seeking useful sustainability information. It examines the accepted rationales for company reporting regimes, the minimal rights stakeholders have to information, the political nature of reporting policy, and the variable quality of publicly available information. It finds that existing rationales and theories supporting corporate reporting regimes no longer reflect reasonable societal expectations because they are motivated by economic and commercial concerns and primarily benefit shareholders. The chapter draws attention to corporate communication structures that provide differentiated information through private and public channels. It also highlights concerns when sustainability disclosures are superficial or are released as a public relations exercise and suggests such reporting reflects the compromises made during legislative processes and the open-ended nature of many reporting rules. Whilst the author acknowledges the limitations of disclosure policy, she highlights positive trends and concludes that disclosure regimes should to be structured to work as well as possible.
Keywords: company reporting, disclosure, sustainability, diversity, engagement, communication
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