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Parallels in government and corporate sustainability reporting

Shields, D. J.; Solar, S. V. 2007. Parallels in government and corporate sustainability reporting. Journal of Mining. Metallurgical, Materials, Geotechnical, and Plant Engineering (BHM - Berg-und Huttenmannische Monatshefte). 152(12): 397-402.

One of the core tenets of Sustainable Development is transparency and information sharing, i.e., government and corporate reporting. Governments report on issues within their sphere of responsibility to the degree that their constituents demand that they do so. Firms undertake reporting for two reasons: they are required to do so by law, and doing so makes good business sense. In recent years, stakeholders have come to see themselves as having a right to information about government actions and business operations that have the potential to affect their lives, health, community and environment. As a result, disparate groups, including industry associations, non-profit groups, academics, and individual firms, attempted to lay out what governments and firms should report. There are many types of sustainability reporting. In this paper we focus on three of them that both governments and firms utilize: indicators, material flow accounts, and expanded corporate and national financial accounts. We discuss the benefits of each. We argue that while the goal of complete and perfect data is not achievable or feasible, sustainability reporting of all three types is necessary to ensure that sound public and private decisions are made.

Keywords: sustainability reporting, Sustainable Development, indicators, material flow accounts, expanded corporate and national financial accounts

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Parallels in government and corporate sustainability reporting
Electronic Publish Date: April 30, 2009
Last Update:
April 30, 2009

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