A Conceptual Framework for Sustainability Reporting: A Case Study of the Global Reporting Initiative

By Voicu D. Dragomir.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper aims to produce an original model distilling a conceptual framework for sustainability disclosure. We first identify the institutional foundations and the mission of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), implicitly discussing the foundation of constructive reporting. Two levels of information reliability are then described, derived mainly from accounting conceptual frameworks, and the GRI Guidelines. We follow an inductive approach: we analyze the qualitative characteristics of several specific environmental indicators, in order to assess the degree of relevance and reliability of each particular provision. We will finally make an attempt to derive the objective of sustainability reporting, while assessing the degree of usefulness of this type of documents that closely follow the more formalized process of financial reporting. We conclude that there is a multitude of reasons for not reporting, and the majority of these are related to internal data reliability. Hence, stakeholders cannot distinguish between different types of data unreliability; and the GRI Guidelines do little on this matter.

Keywords: Sustainability, Accounting Conceptual Framework, Corporate Reporting, Global Reporting Initiative, Stakeholder Theory

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.149-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 713.717KB).

Prof. Voicu D. Dragomir

Assistant Lecturer, Ph.D. Student, The Department of International Accounting, The Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, The Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

I became a member of the faculty of the Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, Romania, in 2006 – at the same time being admitted in the doctoral programme. My thesis and field of interest are centered on corporate governance in conjunction with business ethics, accountability and corporate social responsibility. My philosophical formation has led me to thoroughly investigate areas concerning European regulatory instruments and non-binding legislation, such as corporate governance codes and other codes of conduct. Although very young, only 24 years old, I have already presented papers at five international conferences, both in and outside Romania, and have had four articles published in national journals.


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