An investigation into the implications of corporate governance practices on sustainability reporting.
Although the history of Sustainability Accounting dates to 20 years back, the term has gained much popularity in recent times. At present, more than 3,000 companies worldwide, issue annual sustainability reports to strengthen their corporate social responsibility (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, 2014). Companies have realized that they have to take accountability for their social actions, and the impact of these actions on the environment or their profitability would be adversely affected. As a result, Investors have now become more conscious about their investment decisions, ultimately this led to the development of sustainability indices in the financial market. To be considered for sustainability indices firms needs to disclose adequate information about their sustainability practices through Sustainability Reports (Ching, Gerab and Toste, 2017). Hence the significance of sustainability reports cannot be overlooked. Good corporate governance practices and sustainability disclosure are complementary tools that aid the firm in building trust in stakeholders. (Michelon and Parbonetti, 2010).
One way of showing the public that the corporation is a socially responsible firm is through ‘Integrated Reporting’ or ‘Triple Bottom-line Accounting’ or stand-alone ‘Sustainability Reports’. Accountants are now expected to produce reports that cover all the financial and non-financial matters encompassing the company. Although there is an increasing trend among corporates to disclose non-financial matters through Sustainability Reports, there is uncertainty as to whether these are quality reports, which represents all the elements of a sustainability issue. The scope of the audit of these reports is also minimal, mainly due to their qualitative nature.
This paper is mainly focused on studying the persistent link between sustainability accounting and corporate governance, and thereby finding more scope for improvement in both areas. This paper aims to look deeply into the correlation between the structure of the Corporate governance characteristics in a company and the quality of the Sustainability Reporting produced by these firms.
1st Supervisor: Dr Androniki Triantafylli
2nd Supervisor: Dr Georgios Kavetsos
Parvathy holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mahatma Gandhi University (India) and a Master of Science in Accounting degree from the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom).