Prevalence of sustainability reporting practices of listed companies on established and emerging stock exchanges

Brendan K. Turk, Charlie Shackleton, Kevin Whittington-Jones

Abstract


The business sector has a substantial role in addressing current environmental issues and concerns. Consequently, there is a growing adoption of corporate sustainability principles and practices across all market sectors. This study examined four developed and four emerging stock markets and the sustainability reporting practices of the top 20 and bottom 20 companies in each. The results illustrate that the developed market sector was more advanced in its corporate sustainability reporting, both in the proportion of companies issuing a sustainability report (approximately 60 per cent) and the proportion of company webpages dedicated to sustainability reporting. This difference was largely due to the effect of the top 20 companies. There was little difference between developed and developing markets when only the bottom 20 companies were considered, of which less than one-third provided sustainability reports.  These results show that sustainability reporting is prevalent in both developed and developing markets, especially among market leading companies, but that overall, most developing markets have some catching up to do. 

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v16i1.234

Submitted: 29 June 2011
Published: 26 February 2013


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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences    |    ISSN: 1015-8812 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2222-3436 (ONLINE)