Valuing Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability Reporting
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This conceptual paper sheds light on some of the major intergovernmental benchmarks, guidelines and principles for corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate governance and sustainability reporting. It reports on several governments’ regulatory roles as their societal governance is intrinsically based on interdependent relationships. There are different actors and drivers who are shaping CSR communications and policies in relational frameworks. This paper mentions some of the countries that have already introduced intelligent substantive and reflexive regulations. It also shows how certain businesses are stepping in with their commitment for sustainability issues as they set their own policies and practices for laudable organisational behaviours. Very often, corporate businesses use non-governmental organisations’ regulatory tools such as process and performance-oriented standards. These regulatory instruments focus on issues such as labour standards, human rights, health and safety, environmental protection, corporate governance and the like. Afterwards, this paper discusses about the relationship between governance and sustainability. It makes reference to some of the relevant European Union Expert Group recommendations for non-financial reporting and CSR audits. Relevant academic contributions are indicating that customers are expecting greater disclosures, accountability and transparency in sustainability reports. This contribution contends that the way forward is to have more proactive governments that raise the profile of CSR. It maintains that CSR communications and stakeholder engagement may bring shared value to business and society. Ultimately, it is in the businesses’ interest to implement corporate sustainability and responsibility and to forge fruitful relationships with key stakeholders, including the regulatory ones, in order to address societal, environmental, governance and economic deficits.
Keywordscorporate governance corporate social responsibility creating shared value CSR regulatory guidelines sustainability sustainability reporting
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