A Framework for Sustainability Reporting

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Abstract

Purpose: A sustainability reporting framework must demonstrate that resources are fairly bought and used to support diverse life on earth within habitable ranges. The purpose of this paper is to propose a principle-based sustainability reporting framework that measures, audits and reports based on sustainability outcomes and impacts as part of the corporate reporting framework.
Design/methodology/approach: This paper draws on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and targets for preparing a reporting framework. It uses Gaia Theory and the Theory of Distributive Justice constructs that align with sustainable development principles to delineate a reporting approach.
Findings: Frameworks that promote sustainability reporting have increasingly embraced UN SDGs but overly focus on performance promoting inter-firm comparisons. This framework introduces principle-based sustainability reporting where firms demonstrate their chosen contribution to sustainable development using 17 UN SDGs as goal posts.
Research limitations/implications: This conceptual paper presents theoretical constructs that future research can empirically validate to enhance sustainability reporting.
Practical implications: This principle-based sustainability reporting framework is implementable for corporate reporting, where sustainability reporting integrates with the financial and economic intellectual capital reporting frameworks.
Social implications: This framework highlights the importance of acquiring and using resources to distribute justice and fairness. It is a joint project between firms and stakeholders.
Originality/value: This framework promotes integrated thinking for firms to engage in principle-based sustainability reporting and provides a roadmap for sustainability reporting using the SDG Compass logic model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1386-1409
Number of pages24
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Volume13
Issue number6
Early online date2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2022

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