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Assessment of corporate sustainability: study of hybrid relations using Hybrid Bottom Line model

Jerónimo Silvestre, W and Antunes, P and Amaro, A and Leal Filho, W (2015) Assessment of corporate sustainability: study of hybrid relations using Hybrid Bottom Line model. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 22. ISSN 1350-4509

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Abstract

Corporate sustainability reporting is currently perceived by company directors and senior staff as a process with a great strategic relevance. However, although sustainability is recognized as an integrating phenomenon and part of corporate life, it is in practice often treated in a one-dimensional manner. There is also a paucity of research specifically aimed at assessing sustainability report in the broad sense. The objectives of this article are therefore to analyse and evaluate reported information (indicators) based on the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines and to select and examine the most promising two-dimensional hybrid relations to enable the evaluation of company performance and its position towards practiced sustainability. The 2011 sustainability reports of 85 companies of different sizes and economic sectors from 36 countries were analysed. On the one hand, it became clear that companies focus their attention on ‘anchor’ indicators and, consequently, there is a low level of representativity in the number of integrations. Performance evaluation, on the other hand, has proved to be a useful process with the potential to trigger the implementation of prospective change. It is, therefore, important that decision-makers may consider including hybrid indicators in the preparation of regulations and guidelines.

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