ICAS Proceedings

ICAS Online Open-Access Proceedings Library

Abstract

With the European Directive coming into force in 2016 concerning disclosure of non-financial information by large European companies and groups, it is important to explore one of European corporations ‘best practices’ non-financial disclosures in its public statements. This paper analyses the world’s largest chemical company’s sustainability disclosures in its annual report and via other corporate media. The paper synthesises insights from accounting and sustainability reporting research and provides an analytical frame to explore how one organisation constructs and reports its economic, environmental and social performance. The research asks: 1) How does the organisation determine what to report? 2) What does the organisation report? The research questions are examined by reviewing and studying the organisation’s report at one period of time and corresponding sections on the corporate website of the company, which are both publicly available. The paper finds that the company uses the GRI Guidelines to construct its report and the disclosure contents. Even though the phrase ‘Integrated Report’ is used, the company does not follow the Integrated Reporting framework for determining the frame and content of its economic, environmental and social performance report and other public disclosures. The paper provides academics, regulators and reporting organisations with insights into issues and aspects of the construction of European corporations ‘best practices’ disclosure in non-financial statements.

Keywords: GRI, Sustainability reporting, Integrated reporting, EC Accounting Directive, non-financial statements

ICAS Online Proceedings Library