Assessing and improving the quality of sustainability reports : the auditor's perspective

Authors: Boiral, Olivier; Heras-Saizarbitoria, Iñaki; Brotherton, Marie-Christine
Abstract: This article presents, an analysis of the opinions of assurance providers regarding the quality and the limitations of sustainability reports and their recommendations to improve them using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as a framework. The qualitative content analysis of 301 assurance statements for sustainability reports from mining and energy companies provides a comprehensive view of the main outcomes of the assurance process, including its limitations, the application of the GRI principles and suggestions for improving sustainability reports. Taking into account the perceptions of practitioners a priori well informed on the quality of sustainability reports—namely assurance providers—this paper complements the current literature on sustainability reporting and its assurance, including critical approaches that question the reliability of sustainability reports, stakeholder engagement and the accountability of reporting practices. This study contributes to the debates surrounding the quality of sustainability reports, the added value of assurance statements and the ethical issues underlying the assurance process. It also contains important practical implications for auditors, standardization organizations and stakeholders.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 27 March 2017
Open Access Date: 27 March 2018
Document version: AM
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/13633
This document was published in: Journal of Business Ethics (2017)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3516-4
Springer
Alternative version: 10.1007/s10551-017-3516-4
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

All documents in CorpusUL are protected by Copyright Act of Canada.