GRI and the camouflaging of corporate unsustainability

José M. Moneva, Pablo Archel, Carmen Correa
2006 Accounting Forum  
Sustainable development or sustainability concept has become increasingly relevant in corporate executive's agenda after Brundtland Report was launched in 1987. Social and environmental accounting and reporting plays a relevant role in this context to analyse sustainability performance of the organizations. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines were developed as a way of helping organizations to report on their environmental, social and economic performance
more » ... d to increase their accountability. However, evidence from practice seems to show a different reality. Some organizations that label themselves as GRI reporters do not behave in a responsible way concerning sustainability question, like gas emissions, social equity or human rights. The objective of this paper is to look at the sustainable development approach adopted by the GRI guidelines and its potential impact on corporate reporting and subsequently the business appropriation of the concept. The strong/weak sustainability concept and questions proposed by Gray are used to develop this analysis. (J.M. Moneva). 1 Sustainability and sustainable development are used interchangeably. Bebbington and Gray (2001) note that sustainability could be considered a state, and SD a process by which human activity moves towards sustainability. 0155-9982/$ -see front matter
doi:10.1016/j.accfor.2006.02.001 fatcat:5p2erqtk6bb2fcsqjbpo6zxxga