Essays on Evaluation of the Current Sustainability Reporting Practice at Westpac Group Case Study

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The paper "Evaluation of the Current Sustainability Reporting Practice at Westpac Group" is an outstanding example of a business case study.   Sustainability reporting is one of the most important practices for organisations currently (Wilburn & Wilburn 2016, p. 77). Many organisations have fully embraced the practice of reporting their activities, performance and plan in the form of corporate sustainability reports (Hussen 2014, p. 341). The essence of this shift in corporate reporting practise is that companies consider corporate sustainability reporting as a practice that enables them to provide adequate information about their activities to their stakeholders (Jones 2010, p.

4). Moreover, firms regard corporate reports as effective tools for evaluating their sustainable practices and determining how sustainable they are likely to be in the future (Cohen 2013, p. 29). Thus, corporate sustainability reports are likely to remain important documents that companies release to their stakeholders. It is important to note that the practice of reporting the sustainability practices of companies has been undergoing changes in the recent past. It has been observed that the practice of corporate sustainability reporting is still new and that companies are grappling which changes in the format and content related to the reports (Szekely & vom Brocke 2017, p.

2). Moreover, as many companies realise the competitive advantage that they can get from properly reporting their performance related to sustainability practices, the need to present reports that are accurate and compelling to the audience becomes apparent (Eccles, Ioannou & Serafin 2011, p. 2; Eidonskog 2014, p. 410). One of the most important changes regarding corporate sustainability reporting that has occurred in the recent past relates to the relationship between company practices and the environment.

Concern about the environment has become a major issue for companies and other institutions in the world because of the negative environmental impacts on the world population (Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2017, p. 10). Thus, it is noted that companies, under the GRI, are adopting the practice of outlining how they perform regarding the issue of conserving the natural environment (Szekely & vom Brocke 2017, p. 2). Also, it is observed that companies are taking the issue of environmental concern seriously by outlining how their practices affect the environment (Murphy, 2015, p.

7). The focus nowadays is that companies indicate the impact of their supply chain on important environmental matters such as the emission of greenhouse gases (Brockett & Rezaee 2015, p. 10). Additionally, companies show how they intend to reduce their negative impact on the environment within specified time frames (GRI 2017, p. 11). Another important issue that companies are now concerned within their corporate sustainability reports relates to human rights. From the perspective of companies, the issue of human rights relates to how companies treat their employees, customers and even the population that forms the societies to which the companies belong (GRI 2008, p.

4). Moreover, the importance of human rights as an issue that companies are concerned within their corporate sustainability reports arises from the way international organisations have identified it (Leipziger 2015, p. 11). For example, the United Nations, as part of its series of global sustainability goals, identified human rights as one of the key issues that determine the extent to which the global development efforts are sustainable (GRI 2017, p.

12). Thus, companies seek to adhere to well-established guidelines by showing the efforts that they are doing to tackle problems such as inequality among their employees as part of their efforts at achieving equitable and just societies.

References

Brockett, A & Rezaee, Z 2015, Corporate sustainability: integrating performance and sustainability, Cengage, Mason.

Cohen, E 2013, Sustainability reporting for SMEs: competitive advantage through transparency, Do Sustainability, New York.

Eccles, RG, Ioannou, I & Sarofim, G 2011, ‘The impact of corporate sustainability on organizational processes and performance,’ viewed 28 August 2017, .

Eidonskog, M 2014, Caring for corporate sustainability, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2017, ‘Future trends in sustainability reporting: Insights from the GRI corporate leadership group on reporting 2025,’ viewed 27thAugust 2017, .

GRI 2008, ‘Reporting on human rights: A survey conducted by the Global Reporting Initiative and the Roberts Environmental Centre (Claremont McKenna College),’ viewed 27 August 2017, .

Hussen, A 2014, Principles of environmental economics and sustainability: an integrated economic and ecological approach, Routledge, London.

Jones, H 2010, ‘Sustainability reporting matters: what are national governments doing about it?’ The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, viewed 27th August 2017, .

Leipziger, D 2015, The corporate responsibility code book, Greenleaf Publishing, New York.

Murphy, A 2015, The environmental context of corporate sustainability reporting (Bachelor’s thesis, University of Michigan, Michigan), viewed 27 August 2017, .

Szekely, N & vom Brocke, J 2017, ‘What can we learn from corporate sustainability reporting? Deriving propositions for research and practice from over 9,500 corporate sustainability reports published between 1999 and 2015 using topic modelling technique,’ PLOS ONE, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1–27, viewed 27 August 2017, .

Westpac Group 2014, This is what we’ve delivered, Westpac Group Annual Review & Sustainability Report 2014, viewed 27 August 2017, .

Westpac Group 2015, What’s important to you is important to us, 2015 Westpac Group Sustainability Performance Report, viewed 27 August 2017, .

Westpac Group 2016, Proudly supporting Australia, 2016 Westpac Group Sustainability Performance Report, viewed 27 August 2017, .

Wilburn, KM & Wilburn, HR 2016, ‘The growing importance of integrated reporting for corporate social responsibility,’ Review of Business & Finance Studies, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 75-89, viewed 27 August 2017, .

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