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Über dieses Buch

This book proposes an integrated approach to sustainability reporting, the goal being to overcome certain limitations of the well-established additive approach, where the reporting of environmental, social and economic issues is sequential, but separate. It argues that, in order to successfully communicate its commitment to sustainability, a company should report on how environmental and social issues impact its way of doing business, namely its business model, contributing to value creation. Thus, a reporting framework for business models that encompasses sustainability is presented. In turn, a number of illustrative examples are examined to show how business model reporting could be optimally used to provide effective and integrated sustainability reporting.
The book also offers a broad analysis of corporate sustainability reporting, which includes a discussion of the theoretical background, an explanation of why companies provide sustainability reporting, a description of the current regulatory framework for sustainability disclosure, and a review of sustainability reporting literature that shows the main characteristics of sustainability disclosure practices.
Given its scope, the book will be of interest to all researchers and practitioners working for companies or organizations that aim to support, implement and improve their sustainability reporting, by adopting a more integrated approach that interconnects environmental and social aspects with the economic and financial results via the business model. The book also offers a valuable reference guide for social science researchers, including PhD students, interested in a discussion of the latest literature on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and the communication of business models.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Over the last two decades, sustainability reporting has gained prominence worldwide because of increased stakeholder demand for greater transparency. There has also been a substantial increase in research devoted to social and environmental accounting topics (Kolk 2004; Adams and McNicholas 2007; Manetti 2011; Gray 2010; Bini et al. 2018; De Villiers et al. 2014).
Laura Bini, Marco Bellucci

Chapter 2. Accounting for Sustainability

This chapter discusses the concept of sustainability and sustainable development, the potential role of enterprises in sustainability, and a framework for sustainability reporting. This section of the volume also analyzes the motivations for sustainability reporting from the perspective of both regulatory frameworks on non-financial disclosure and theories underlying voluntary social and environmental reporting, and the main guidelines—with particular reference to the Global Reporting Initiative and the Integrated Reporting Frameworks—that can support the construction of either a sustainability report or an integrated report.
Laura Bini, Marco Bellucci

Chapter 3. Anchoring Sustainability Reporting to Value Creation

The additive approach proposed by the Triple Bottom Line represents the most widespread model for sustainability reporting. Its simple basic idea and its similarities to the traditional accounting system represent its main strengths. However, its implementation raises substantial challenges that limit its effectiveness, especially for companies with a genuine commitment to sustainability that decide to adopt a sustainable business model. This chapter proposes a different approach to sustainability reporting based on a company business model. The business model concept is largely used as a management tool and is increasingly proposed as a platform for external communication. Focusing on sustainability reporting, this work aims to show how companies can take advantage of a business model representation to provide stakeholders with relevant sustainability disclosures centered on value creation in a concise and reliable manner.
Laura Bini, Marco Bellucci

Chapter 4. Business Model Disclosure in Sustainability Reporting: Two Case Studies

This chapter provides an empirical analysis of the sustainability reporting practices of two multinational companies: the German IT company SAP, which operates in the software sector, and the Swedish retailer H&M, one of the most popular brands in the fast fashion industry. Both companies encounter different approaches/sustainability issues when explaining their commitment to sustainability. The aims of this chapter are twofold. On the one hand, it will provide an exemplificative illustration of how the business model tool can be used to interpret the information included in a company’s sustainability reporting, according to the proposal formulated in Chap. 3 of this volume. On the other hand, analyzing two leading companies, both of which provide benchmarks for their respective industries, will offer us insights on whether or not a business case can be made for sustainability, and how sustainability is implemented in the organization and integrated into the company’s value processes.
Laura Bini, Marco Bellucci
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