Advanced

Experiences of and views on third-party assurance of corporate environmental and sustainability reports

Park, Jonathan LU and Brorson, Torbjörn LU (2005) In Journal of Cleaner Production 13(10-11). p.1095-1106
Abstract
This study explores the development of environmental and sustainability reporting in Sweden and the dynamics behind the corporate decision to introduce, or not to introduce, third-party assurance of voluntary reports. The results are based on interviews with 28 Swedish companies, an analysis of corporate environmental/sustainability/annuaI reports as well as interviews with assurance providers. Between 1990 and 2003, the number of corporate voluntary reports increased and by 2003 approximately one-third of the reports were subject to third-party assurance. In general, the assured companies were positive in regards to the perceived benefits from third-party assurance, e.g. guidance on how to develop efficient internal reporting systems and... (More)
This study explores the development of environmental and sustainability reporting in Sweden and the dynamics behind the corporate decision to introduce, or not to introduce, third-party assurance of voluntary reports. The results are based on interviews with 28 Swedish companies, an analysis of corporate environmental/sustainability/annuaI reports as well as interviews with assurance providers. Between 1990 and 2003, the number of corporate voluntary reports increased and by 2003 approximately one-third of the reports were subject to third-party assurance. In general, the assured companies were positive in regards to the perceived benefits from third-party assurance, e.g. guidance on how to develop efficient internal reporting systems and increased credibility for published data. The companies without assurance were hesitant to adopt the concept. Their main arguments included the high cost of assurance and the lack of evidence that third-party assurance would result in enhanced credibility. According to the companies, the driving forces for the future development of assurance practices will most probably consist of a combination of proactive approaches from leading companies, generally accepted reporting guidelines and assurance methods, increased pressure from stakeholders and the general acceptance that third-party assurance creates benefits for the company and its stakeholders. In conclusion, this study calls for more attention to be paid towards establishing possible links between methods for third-party assurance and increased credibility for corporate environmental or sustainability reports. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sustainability report, third-party assurance, environmental report, credibility
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
13
issue
10-11
pages
1095 - 1106
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000228788100013
  • scopus:14844361771
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.12.006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
66c67eaa-ce72-4742-8c1e-4afc2a2ad260 (old id 244410)
date added to LUP
2007-08-10 16:15:06
date last changed
2017-10-29 04:22:09
@article{66c67eaa-ce72-4742-8c1e-4afc2a2ad260,
  abstract     = {This study explores the development of environmental and sustainability reporting in Sweden and the dynamics behind the corporate decision to introduce, or not to introduce, third-party assurance of voluntary reports. The results are based on interviews with 28 Swedish companies, an analysis of corporate environmental/sustainability/annuaI reports as well as interviews with assurance providers. Between 1990 and 2003, the number of corporate voluntary reports increased and by 2003 approximately one-third of the reports were subject to third-party assurance. In general, the assured companies were positive in regards to the perceived benefits from third-party assurance, e.g. guidance on how to develop efficient internal reporting systems and increased credibility for published data. The companies without assurance were hesitant to adopt the concept. Their main arguments included the high cost of assurance and the lack of evidence that third-party assurance would result in enhanced credibility. According to the companies, the driving forces for the future development of assurance practices will most probably consist of a combination of proactive approaches from leading companies, generally accepted reporting guidelines and assurance methods, increased pressure from stakeholders and the general acceptance that third-party assurance creates benefits for the company and its stakeholders. In conclusion, this study calls for more attention to be paid towards establishing possible links between methods for third-party assurance and increased credibility for corporate environmental or sustainability reports.},
  author       = {Park, Jonathan and Brorson, Torbjörn},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {sustainability report,third-party assurance,environmental report,credibility},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {10-11},
  pages        = {1095--1106},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {Experiences of and views on third-party assurance of corporate environmental and sustainability reports},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.12.006},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2005},
}