Appraising the Corporate Sustainability Reports – Text Mining and Multi-Discriminatory Analysis

  • J. R. Modapothala
  • B. Issac
  • E. Jayamani
Conference paper


The voluntary disclosure of the sustainability reports by the companies attracts wider stakeholder groups. Diversity in these reports poses challenge to the users of information and regulators. This study appraises the corporate sustainability reports as per GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines (the most widely accepted and used) across all industrial sectors. Text mining is adopted to carry out the initial analysis with a large sample size of 2650 reports. Statistical analyses were performed for further investigation. The results indicate that the disclosures made by the companies differ across the industrial sectors. Multivariate Discriminant Analysis (MDA) shows that the environmental variable is a greater significant contributing factor towards explanation of sustainability report.


Corporate Social Responsibility Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Report Voluntary Disclosure Fisher Linear Discriminant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Bayon R. Reporting goes global. Environmental Finance May: 16–18. 2002.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Mathias A. Meacher disappointed by UK reporting. Environmental Finance May: 10. 2002.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Gee D. 2001. Business and the Environment: Current Trends and Developments in Corporate Reporting and Ranking,Technical Report 54. European Environment Agency:Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Gray, R. “The Greening of Accountancy – the Profession After Peace”, Research Report 17, Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA): London, 1990.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Characklis G. W. and Richards, D. J. “The evolution of industrial environmental performance metrics: Trends and challenges,” Corporate Environmental Strategy, vol.6, no.4, pp.387-398, 1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Porter, M. and Linde van der, C. “Green and competitive,” Harvard Business Review, pp.120-134 September-October, 1995.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Porter, M. and Linde van der, C. “Toward a new conception of the environment: Competitiveness relationship.” Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol.9, no.4, pp.Green and competitive,” Harvard Business Review, pp.120-134 September-October, pp.97-118.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Schuster, A. “Die Erstellung Einer Okobilanz unter Berucksichtigung des Kosten – Nutzen Effektes, magisterrerum socialium oeconomicarumque.” Sozial-undWirtschafts-wissenschaftliche Fakultat der Universitat Wien, Wien, 2000.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Livesey, S. "The discourse of the middle ground: Citizen Shell commits to sustainable development". Management Communication Quarterly, vol.15, no.3, pp.313–349, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    Livesey, S. M. and Kearins, K. "Transparent and caring corporations? A study of sustainability reports by The Body Shop and Royal Dutch/Shell," Organization and Environment, vol.15, no.3, pp.233–258,2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Milne, M. J., Kearins, K. and Walton, S. "Creating adventures in Wonderland: The journey metaphor and environmental sustainability," Organization, 2006Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Milne, M. J., Tregidga, H. and Walton, S. "Playing with magic lanterns: the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and corporate triple bottom line reporting," Proceedings of 4th APIRA Conference, Singapore, 2004.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Mohardt, J. E. “Scoring corporate environmental and sustainability reports using GRI 2000, ISO 14031 and other criteria,” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, vol.9, pp.215-233, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Marshall, R. S. “Corporate environment reporting: What’s in a metric?” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.12, pp.87-106, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    Rao, P., Singh, A. K., Castillo, O., Intal Jr., S. P. and Sajid, A. “A metric for corporate environmental indicators…for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Philippines,” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.17, No.6, 2006.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Cornelius PK. Global Competitiveness Report, 2002–2004, World Economic Forum: Geneva, 2003.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Davis J. Journal of Business Strategy, vol.12, no.4, pp.14–17, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). ISO 14031 Environmental Management – Environmental Performance Evaluation – Standards and Guidelines. ISO: Geneva, 1999.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Reporting Guidelines on Economic Environmental and Social Performance, Boston, MA: GRI, 2000.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Lober DJ, Bynum D, Campbell E, Jacques M. “The 100 plus corporate environmental report study: A survey of an evolving environmental management tool,” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.6, no.3, pp.57–73, 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Giuliano Noci, “Environmental reporting in Italy: Current practice and future developments,” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.9, pp.211–223, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    Purba Rao, Alok Kumar Singh, Olivia la O’ Castillo, S. Ponciano Intal Jr., and Ather Sajid, “A metric for corporate environmental indicators…for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Philippines,” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.17, no.6, 2006.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    R. Isenmann, “Customized corporate environmental reporting by internet-based push and pull technologies”, Eco-Management and Auditing, vol.8, pp.100-110, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    J. Modapothala and B. Issac, Evaluation of Corporate Environmental Reports using Data Mining Approach, International Conference on Computer Engineering and Technology, Singapore, 2009.Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    Martin AD, Hadley DJ. Corporate environmental non-reporting – a UK FTSE 350 perspective. Business Strategy and the Environment in press, 2006.Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    Clemens B. “Changing environmental strategies over time: An empirical study of the steel industry in the United States,” Journal of Environmental Management, vol.61, pp.1–11, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    Kolk A. “Trends in sustainability reporting by the Fortune Global 250,” Business Strategy and the Environment, vol.12, pp.279–291, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    Dennis M. Hussey, Patrick L. Kirsop, and Ronald E. Meissen, “Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines: An Evaluation of Sustainable Development Metrics for Industry,” Environmental Quality Management, Autumn, pp.1-20, 2001Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    Online Corporate Register, [Online]: [Accessed 30 March, 2009].G. O. Young, “Synthetic structure of industrial plastics (Book style with paper title and editor),” in Plastics, 2nd ed. vol. 3, J. Peters, Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964, pp. 15–64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swinburne University of TechnologyKuchingMalaysia

Personalised recommendations