Sustainability reporting- For whom and what? What is the opinion of analysts, consultants and fund managers on sustainability reporting?
Bachelor thesis in business administration, 15 university credits
Nils Johansson and Hannes Thomasfolk
Sustainability reporting, value relevance, stakeholder theory, signaling theory.
The purpose of this paper is to study how different professional groups in the Swedish financial market in 2013 use sustainability reporting and explore how professional groups look at the future development of sustainability reporting.
The study focuses only on organizations that are members of SWESIF.
In this study we chose a multiple case study design, inspired by well grounded theory. The study's empirical data was obtained through ten semi-structured interviews with analysts, consultants and fund managers.
Results and conclusions:
It was revealed by the study that companies producing a sustainability report demonstrates transparency and are perceived as a company that is aware of risk, both economic risks as well as external risks. The study also shows that among the study's respondents, there is a strong belief that sustainable business in the long term is a good investment. The study also indicates that this is no concrete evidence of an association between the use of sustainability reporting and either increased or decreased profitability. Our impression of sustainability reporting is that it is so far more or less used mostly as a supplement. We believe that if the sustainability report today would contain more important information it would not be used as a supplement, but to a greater extent used as a tool.
Suggestions for future research:
We would like to see a study of the incentives that exist for companies to voluntarily publish information such as sustainability. A central question in this is: Why do companies chose to voluntarily publish sustainability reports? Is it to satisfy the primary stakeholders' needs or to avoid negative publicity in relation to the secondary stakeholders?
2014. , 81 p.