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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Corporate Sustainability Accounting: What Can and Should Corporations Be Doing?—Full Report


Corporate Sustainability Accounting: What Can and Should Corporations Be Doing?—Full Report
Today’s global crises—financial, climate and health—as well as the Sustainable Development Goals have raised the bar in terms of expectations regarding corporate sustainability performance. They have also highlighted the need for sustainability policy and practices that address not only the symptoms of unsustainable development, but also the underlying causes associated with structural conditions that reproduce inequality, vulnerability and planetary degradation.

How, then, might corporate sustainability disclosure and reporting be repurposed to achieve these ends and, in so doing, measure and promote progress from the perspective of the transformational vision of the SDGs?

Part 1 of the report assesses the current state of play, tracking the impressive expansion and ratcheting up of sustainability indicators over three decades. But it also identifies ongoing major weaknesses: the failure of disclosure and reporting to conform to basic accounting principles, as well as the neglect of a number of issue areas and indicators that are absolutely key for assessing progress towards sustainable development.

Chapter I: A 30-Year Journey
Chapter II: Where Do We Stand?
Chapter III: Thinking Forward

Part 2 delves into the specifics of disclosure from the perspective of transformative change, focusing on five key performance issues—fair remuneration, gender equality, corporate taxation, labour rights, and corporate political influence—and unpacking the approaches, quantitative indicators and normative targets that need to be adopted if corporate sustainability performance and disclosure is to contribute in any meaningful way to a sustainable future.

Chapter IV: Learning from the Environmental Dimension
Chapter V: Fair Remuneration
Chapter VI: Gender Equality
Chapter VII: Corporate Taxation
Chapter VIII: Labour Rights
Chapter IX: Corporate Political Influence

Summing Up and Main Findings

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  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 30 Nov 2020
    ISBN: 978-92-9085-113-4
    From: UNRISD