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01.06.2015 | Ausgabe 2/2015

Journal of Business Ethics 2/2015

The Uptake of Sustainability Reporting in Australia

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Business Ethics > Ausgabe 2/2015
Autoren:
Colin Higgins, Markus J. Milne, Bernadine van Gramberg

Abstract

In this paper, we identify and discuss how sustainability reporting has spread throughout the Australian business community over the past twenty years or so. We identified all Australian business organisations that have produced a sustainability report since 1995, and we undertook an interview survey with managers of reporting companies. By incorporating a wide range and large number of reporting companies, we offer insights beyond those obtained from traditional report content analysis and from close analyses of singular case-study organisations. We reveal that sustainability reporting has deepened in a few high-impact industries, and it has spread to a small number of firms in a wide range of low-impact industries. We tested whether there were any relationships between the drivers of reporting and the experiences of different types of reporting firms. Many of the relationships we observed were not as clear or as consistent as expected. Sustainability reporting is, however, of strategic importance to reporting companies. Given the small number of reporters in Australia, we raise the possibility of strategic differentiation as a key driver of reporting behaviour and suggest further studies to explore institutional fields that may be shaping sustainability reporting practice.

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