An increasing number of companies have, during the last two decades, engaged in reporting their sustainability efforts. Although Sustainability Reporting is considered to be a key driver for organisational change in companies; research into the link between these two processes has been limited. This paper is aimed at elucidating the interrelations between these processes. A survey was applied to 91 companies from the Global Reporting Initiative's Sustainability Disclosure Database that published sustainability reports in 2013. The data from the survey were analysed using a combination of descriptive, Grounded Theory, and inferential analyses. The results showed that the decision to publish the first sustainability report has been primarily driven by company internal motivations, whilst for subsequent reports it has been due to a combination of internal motivations and external stimuli. The development and publication of a sustainability report drives sustainability changes in the company, leading to a transition period during the development of the next report. This leads to changes in data and indicators, strategy, organisational change, reputation and validation, stakeholders, and the report itself. The changes become part of the organisation until the start of the following report. The research shows that Sustainability Reporting and Organisational Change Management for Sustainability have reciprocal reinforcing relationships, where Sustainability Reporting provides a starting point for planning organisational change for sustainability and organisational change for sustainability improves the reporting process. The paper reinforces that planning organisational changes can help companies better and more holistically integrate their efforts for sustainability into their systems.
Journal of Cleaner Production – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2016
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