Sustainability Reporting by New Zealand Wineries



Many organisations have realised the need to engage in sustainable practices, and the benefits from doing so. This engagement includes communicating sustainable practices with stakeholders through web pages. The quantity of web page reporting varies by winery and by reporting category, as does the ease of reading (i.e. readability). This chapter discusses sustainability reporting and sustainability in the New Zealand wine industry, introducing readers to the nine key focus areas of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), of which only one focuses on social sustainability. The quantity and readability of web page reporting of 433 New Zealand wineries are examined with differences found between the four reporting categories—social sustainability reporting, environmental sustainability reporting, social and environmental sustainability reporting, and sustainability reporting. There is room for improvement in the readability scores of all the reporting categories, although social sustainability reporting is slightly more readable.


Social sustainability Web page reporting Readability Quantity Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) 


  1. Abu Bakar, A. S., & Ameer, R. (2011). Readability of corporate social responsibility communication in Malaysia. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 18(1), 50–60. Scholar
  2. Ajmal, M. M., Khan, M., Hussain, M., & Helo, P. (2018). Conceptualizing and incorporating social sustainability in the business world. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 25(4), 327–339. Scholar
  3. Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility. (2017). Re-imagining sustainable value: The sustainable development goals gather pace. Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand 2017. Victoria, Australia: Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility.Google Scholar
  4. Dodds, R., Graci, S., Ko, S., & Walker, L. (2013). What drives environmental sustainability in the New Zealand wine industry? An examination of driving factors and practices. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 25(3), 164–184. Scholar
  5. DuBay, W. (2004). The principles of readability. Costa Mesa: Impact Information.
  6. Fifka, M. S. (2014). CSR und Reporting: Nachhaltigkeits- und CSR-Berichterstattung verstehen und erfolgreich umsetzen [CSR and Reporting: Understanding and successfully implementing sustainability and CSR reporting]. Gabler Verlag, Heidelberg: Management-Reihe Corporate Social Responsibility Series, Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Flores, S. S. (2018). What is sustainability in the wine world? A cross-country analysis of wine sustainability frameworks. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 2301–2312. Scholar
  8. Folkens, L., & Schneider, P. (2019). Social responsibility and sustainability: How companies and organizations understand their sustainability reporting obligations. In W. L. Filho (Ed.), Social responsibility and sustainability: How businesses and organizations can operate in a sustainable and socially responsible way (pp. 159–188). Hamburg, Germany: World Sustainability Series, Springer.Google Scholar
  9. Forbes, S. L., & De Silva, T. A. (2012). Analysis of environmental management systems in New Zealand wineries. International Journal of Wine Business Research, 24(2), 98–114. Scholar
  10. Gabzdylova, B., Raffensperger, J. F., & Castka, P. (2009). Sustainability in the New Zealand wine industry: Drivers, stakeholders and practices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 17, 992–998. Scholar
  11. Global Reporting Initiative. (2019, March 8). GRI standards. Retrieved from
  12. Gunning, R. (1952). The technique of clear writing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  13. Harris, T. L., & Hodges, R. E. (1995). The literacy dictionary: The vocabulary of reading and writing. Newark, DE, USA: International Reading Assn.Google Scholar
  14. Hughey, K. F. D., Tait, S. V., & O’Connell, M. J. (2005). Qualitative evaluation of three environmental management systems in the New Zealand wine industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13, 1175–1187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kamali, F. P., Borges, J. A. R., Osseweijera, P., & Posadaa, J. A. (2018). Towards social sustainability: Screening potential social and governance issues for biojet fuel supply chains in Brazil. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 92, 50–61. Scholar
  16. Kincaid, J. P., Fishburne, R. P., Rogers, R. L., & Chissom, B. S. (1975). Derivation of new readability formulas (automated readability index, fog count and Flesch reading ease formula) for navy enlisted personnel. Institute for Simulation and Training, 56.Google Scholar
  17. Klare, G. R. (1963). The measurement of readability. Ames: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Klohr, B., Fleuchaus, R., & Theuvsen, L. (2013). Sustainability: Implementation programs and communication in the leading wine producing countries. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research (AWBR) (Vol. 1215). St. Catharines, ON, Canada.Google Scholar
  19. KPMG. (2017). The road ahead: The KPMG survey of corporate responsibility reporting 2017. Retrieved from
  20. Li, F. (2008). Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 45(2–3), 221–247. Scholar
  21. Lodhia, S. (2006). The world wide web and its potential for corporate environmental communication: A study into present practices in the Australian minerals industry. The International Journal of Digital Accounting Research, 6(11), 65–94.Google Scholar
  22. McLaughlin, G. H. (1969). SMOG grading: A new readability formula. Journal of Reading, 12, 639–646.Google Scholar
  23. Morhardt, J. E. (2009). Corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting on the Internet. Business Strategy and the Environment, 19, 436–452.
  24. Nazari, J. A., Hrazdil, K., & Mahmoudian, F. (2017). Assessing social and environmental performance through narrative complexity in CSR reports. Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics, 13, 166–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. New Zealand Wine. (n.d.a). About us. Retrieved from
  26. New Zealand Wine. (n.d.b). Sustainable Winegrowing NZ. Retrieved from
  27. New Zealand Wine. (n.d.c). Pillars of sustainability. Retrieved from
  28. New Zealand Wine. (n.d.d). People. Retrieved from
  29. Newson, M., & Deegan, C. (2002). Global expectations and their association with corporate social disclosure practices in Australia, Singapore, and South Korea. The International Journal of Accounting, 37, 183–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ngai, E. W. T., Law, C. C. H., Lo, C. W. H., Poon, J. K. L., & Peng, S. (2018). Business sustainability and corporate social responsibility: Case studies of three gas operators in China. International Journal of Production Research, 56(1–2), 660–676. Scholar
  31. Patten, D. M., & Crampton, W. (2003). Legitimacy and the Internet: An examination of corporate web page environmental disclosures. Advances in Environmental Accounting & Management, 2, 31–57.
  32. Qiu, Y., Shaukat, A., & Tharyan, R. (2016). Environmental and social disclosures: Link with corporate financial performance. The British Accounting Review, 48, 102–116. Scholar
  33. Readable. (n.d.). What is readability? Retrieved from
  34. Richards, G. (2011). Readability and thematic manipulation in corporate communications: A multi-disclosure and Trans-Tasman investigation. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  35. Sautier, M., Legun, K. A., Rosin, C., & Campbell, H. (2018). Sustainability: A tool for governing wine production in New Zealand? Journal of Cleaner Production, 179, 347–356. Scholar
  36. Schroeder, N., & Gibson, C. (1990). Readability of management’s discussion and analysis. Accounting Horizons, 4(4), 78–87.Google Scholar
  37. Shepherd, K., Abkowitz, M., & Cohen, M. A. (2001). Online corporate environmental reporting: Improvements and innovation to enhance stakeholder value. Corporate Environmental Strategy, 8(4), 307–315. Scholar
  38. Smeuninx, N., De Clerck, B., & Aerts, W. (2016). Measuring the readability of sustainability reports: A corpus-based analysis through standard formulae and NLP. International Journal of Business Communication, 1–34.
  39. Smith, M., & Taffler, R. (1992). The chairman’s statement and corporate financial performance. Accounting & Finance, 32(2), 75–90. Scholar
  40. Szolnoki, G. (2013). A cross-national comparison of sustainability in the wine industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 53, 243–251. Scholar
  41. The International Integrated Reporting Council. (n.d.). The International < IR> Framework. Retrieved from
  42. Unerman, J. (2000). Methodological issues: Reflections on quantification in corporate social reporting content analysis. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 13, 667–680. Scholar
  43. United Nations Global Compact (n.d.). The SDGS. Retrieved from
  44. Wang, Z., Hsieh, T.-S., & Sarkis, J. (2018). CSR performance and the readability of CSR reports: Too good to be true? Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 25, 66–79. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Agribusiness and CommerceLincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations