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GRI and Global Compact: For what?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With sustainability means taking responsibility for the reality that you live and operate in. The concept sustainable development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present world without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Elkington, 1999, p, 55).

Sustainable reporting means to extend the ordinary financial reporting to include both the environmental and social/ethical impacts that the organisation have, so called triple bottom line. We are in our essay discussing the element of sustainability reporting and how to perform one. Today there are an increased pressure from stakeholders on companies to express their values and ethical responsibility. This forces the organisations to extend their ordinary financial reporting to include environmental and social impacts that their operations have.

We have in our essay looked at the global ethical guidelines for sustainability reporting, the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative and from these tried to examine how companies can establish a sustainability report. Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative are two voluntary codes that companies can draw inspire from when creating a sustainability report.

Our purpose with this essay is to examine the concept of sustainability reporting on the basis of observing three financial institutions and their sustainability reports. We have chosen to look at the three different banks, Rabobank Group, the Co-operative Financial Services and Swedbank, to compare how they have constructed their sustainability reports, and to see how they have drawn inspiration from the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.

The investigation is of a qualitative approach where the examined source is the companies’ sustainability reports. The reports have been analyzed and from the analysis have conclusions been drawn to try and interpret how the companies have acted towards the guidelines. Mainly we have been looking at the organisations and the existing balance between the economical, social and environmental aspects. Further we have also been looking at the organisational structure and the management’s attitude towards Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, and the progress to implement it within the organisations. Finally we have tried to observe the relationship between the organisations and stakeholders and the transparency in communicating about the measures being taken.

We have come to the conclusion that both Rabobank and Co-operative Financial Services, CFS, have a more developed sustainability report compared to Swedbank.

We believe the reason why can be found in many different aspects, since there is not just one component that makes a sustainability report. Both Rabobank and CFS are co-operative organisations that are being owned and controlled by its members, compared to Swedbank who is a public company that have obligations towards its shareholders. The managements’ attitude towards sustainability also has an effect of the outcome of the reports as well as attitudes from the society in which the company is operating.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. , p. 62
Keywords [en]
Global Reporting Initiative, Global Compact, Hållbarhetsredovisning
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-1227DiVA, id: diva2:5057
Presentation
2007-05-30
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2007-10-30 Created: 2007-10-30

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