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Comprehensive sustainability reporting: A long road to go for German TecDax 30 companies

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  • Schönbohm, Avo
  • Hofmann, Ulrike
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    Abstract

    This study analyses the current practice in sustainability reporting among the German TecDAX companies for 2009 and 2010. A scoring system has been developed with 23 indicators based on the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative to evaluate scope and quality of the sustainability reports. This study reveals that most of the companies do not publish meaningful, comparable and transparent reports. Almost half of the TecDAX companies do not publish any information about their impact on society, environment and economy. The majority of the published reports does not enable the recipients of the report to develop a comprehensive picture of the socio-ecological impact and hence are not adequate. Some reports even raise the suspicion of green washing. In this case, sustainability reporting fails to have the desired positive effect for the company and can lead to a negative image. -- Diese Studie analysiert die aktuelle Praxis des nachhaltigen Reportings unter den deutschen TecDAXUnternehmen in den Jahren 2009 und 2010. Ein Auswertungssystem mit 23 Indikatoren, die auf den Richtlinien der Global Reporting Initiative basieren, wurde entwickelt um die Bandbreite und Qualität der Nachhaltigkeitsberichte zu evaluieren. Diese Studie macht deutlich, dass die meisten Unternehmen keine aussagekräftigen, vergleichbaren und transparenten Geschäftsberichte publizieren. Fast die Hälfte der TecDAX-Unternehmen veröffentlichen überhaupt keine Information über die Auswirkungen ihres Geschäftshandelns auf Gesellschaft, Umwelt und Wirtschaft. Die Mehrheit der Geschäftsberichte erlaubt es den Lesern nicht, ein umfassendes Bild des sozio-ökologischen Einflusses zu bekommen, diese sind daher nicht adequat. Ein Teil der Geschäftsberichte legt sogar den Verdacht des Greenwashings nahe. In diesem Falle gelingt es dem Nachhaltigkeits-Berichtwesen nicht, die erwünschten positiven Auswirkungen auf das Unternehmen zu bewirken, was eventuell sogar zu einem negativen Image führen kann.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law in its series Working Papers with number 68.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:imbwps:68

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    1. Li, Wenhao, 2004. "Currency competition between Euro and US Dollar," Working Papers 18, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
    2. Tomenendal, Matthias, 2007. "The consultant-client interface: A theoretical introduction to the hot spot of management consulting," Working Papers 31, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
    3. Herr, Hansjörg, 2002. "Wages, employment and prices: An analysis of the relationship between wage level, wage structure, minimum wages and employment and prices," Working Papers 15, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
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    5. Kramarek, Maciej, 2004. "Spezifische Funktionen des Leasings in der Transformationsperiode," Working Papers 19, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
    6. Venohr, Bernd & Meyer, Klaus E., 2007. "The German miracle keeps running: How Germany's hidden champions stay ahead in the global economy," Working Papers 30, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
    7. Fritsche, Ulrich, 2006. "Ergebnisse der ökonometrischen Untersuchung zum Forschungsprojekt Wirtschaftspolitische Regime westlicher Industrienationen," Working Papers 24, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
    8. Kramarek, Maciej, 2005. "Die Attraktivität des Leasings am Beispiel polnischer Regelungen der Transformationsperiode," Working Papers 21, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB), Berlin School of Economics and Law.
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