Reporting Corporate Sustainability: The Challenges of Organisational and Political Rhetoric

  • Christopher Gorse
  • John Sturges
  • Nafa Duwebi
  • Mike Bates
Chapter

Abstract

The political voice of sustainability has broken. Presidential change in the United States has led to it hardening its tone, re-prioritising its stance and bringing a marked loss of climate change emphasis. The UK, another globally important economy, also amended its discourse making regulatory changes and dropping its commitment to zero carbon buildings. The UK’s impending departure from the European Union (BREXIT) brings future disconnection from EU directives, which had tied the country to reduced emissions commitments.

Political rhetoric and regulatory change brings uncertainty to those industrial organisations that have aligned their strategies to take advantage of sustainable practice. These developments are too recent to predict the impact on the industry and corporate sustainability, nevertheless the position that industry has adopted prior to these changes is interesting. Will those organisations already committed to sustainability continue maintaining a social or corporate interest or will the changes bring sustainable and economic uncertainty?

A review of annual reports of multinational corporations for years 2010-2012 was undertaken to understand the strategic positions that companies were taking with regard to sustainability. More recent reports and observations are then considered to provide insight into how organisations, both construction and non-construction, are reporting their current position. The review reflects on the corporate approaches conveyed to the outside world, the departures from their reports and the lack of certainty that current political changes are having on companies that have set their vision on sustainability investment. The review finds a divergence between the corporate sustainability strategies and the emerging rhetoric from some governments.

Keywords

Accounting for Sustainability Corporate Reporting Managing Sustainability Responsible sourcing Sustainability Sustainability Reporting SAM Index Risk Data Online Corporate reporting Sustainability 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Gorse
    • 1
  • John Sturges
    • 1
  • Nafa Duwebi
    • 1
  • Mike Bates
    • 2
  1. 1.Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Sustainability InstituteLeedsUK
  2. 2.PLProjectsMeltham, HolmfirthUK

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