Assurance of Sustainability Reports: The Impact on Verifiability
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
In recent decades, companies’ sustainability responsibilities have become a common topic of discussion. Today many companies produce sustainability reports to disclose information about their economic, environmental and social actions. However, few let these reports be assured. This thesis aims to explore if assurance affects the verifiability of the content of sustainability reports. The literature review reveals that quantitative information is more verifiable than qualitative information, and that assurance have the ability to affect the content of reports. To answer the research question, a content analysis was performed on sustainability reports from 17 companies listed on NASDAQ OMX Nordic Large-cap. The results show that, in average, the proportion of quantitative information increased after assurance was introduced. This result was especially evident in the Environmental category, but the same trend was also visible in the Economic and Social categories. These findings are also confirmed by similar trends in the analysis of charts and graphs. The results are further related to previous research, whereby the conclusion of the study is that the introduction of assurance contributes to improved presumptions for verifiability of large-cap companies’ sustainability reports.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 38 p.
Audit, Assurance, Sustainability Report, Triple Bottom Line, Qualitative, Quantitative, Verifiability
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-296651OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-296651DiVA: diva2:939234
Subject / course
Master Programme in Accounting, Auditing and Analysis