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    Barriers to institutional social sustainability

    Leal, W ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1241-5225, Salvia, AL, Vasconcelos, CRP, Anholon, R, Rampasso, IS, Eustachio, JHPP, Liakh, O, Dinis, MAP, Olpoc, RC, Bandanaa, J, Aina, YA, Lukina, RL and Sharifi, A (2022) Barriers to institutional social sustainability. Sustainability Science, 17 (6). pp. 2615-2630. ISSN 1862-4065

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    Social sustainability is a work field characterised by an emphasis on social aspects, e.g. equity, ethics, health, gender balance, or empowerment, within a broader sustainability context. Although the concept seems to be reasonably well established and deemed worthy of pursuing, some obstacles prevent its wide dissemination. Through a bibliometric analysis focusing on the literature on social sustainability at institutions, with a focus on companies, this paper aims to investigate and describe some of the barriers associated with social sustainability implementation. Apart from identifying that sustainability reporting, environmental disclosure and financial performance play a central role in successfully achieving social sustainability, in the context of which gender-related issues seem more tangential, the results indicated some solutions commonly reported for overcoming barriers and obstacles to a company’s social sustainability implementation within different sectors. These solutions have to do, among many other factors addressed in this study, with strengthening communication transparency and trust, contributing to awareness, using technology to document and promote social sustainability. Thus, empowering organizations and citizens, recognized as essential factors to social development, and addressing the challenges in a multi-dimensional way.

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