Sustainability reporting – a perspective from the private sector

By | August 14, 2013

The evolving phenomenon of ‘sustainability reporting’ is elaborated by Laura Kreiling in the article “Sustainability Reporting – A perspective from the private sector” . Laura is an Associate Partner in the Erasmus Mundus social economy project and currently studying for a Master of Science in Strategic Project Management. When working for an international stock-listed healthcare company, she became interested in sustainability reporting and wrote her bachelor dissertation on this topic in 2010. At that time, sustainability reporting gained momentum because the number of so-called ‘sustainability reports’ in the external communication of stock-listed companies increased noticeably. This trend in external reporting in the private sector reflected the heightened levels of stakeholder scrutiny which stock-listed private sector companies in Germany (Laura’s research scope) were subject to. Laura suggests that this momentum in sustainability reporting will not only result in more stringent reporting standards for the private sector but could also lead to an approximation of the third and the private sector in the future. For example, in form of long-term strategic partnerships between private and third sector organizations. As an introduction to this topic, the following questions will be answered in Laura’s article: What is sustainability reporting and why are private sector companies engaging in it? This will be done by deploying three different perspectives on the evolution of this reporting form and a brief discussion on the key drivers to engage in sustainability reporting thereby elucidating its connection to Corporate Social Responsibility.

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