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Overcoming the Barriers to the Diffusion of Sustainability Reporting in Italian LGOs: Better Stick or Carrot?

Author

Listed:
  • Davide Giacomini

    () (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, Contrada Santa Chiara, 50, 25122 Brescia, Italy)

  • Laura Rocca

    () (Department of Law, University of Brescia, Contrada Santa Chiara, 50, 25122 Brescia, Italy)

  • Cristian Carini

    () (Department of Law, University of Brescia, Contrada Santa Chiara, 50, 25122 Brescia, Italy)

  • Mario Mazzoleni

    () (Department of Economics and Management, University of Brescia, Contrada Santa Chiara, 50, 25122 Brescia, Italy)

Abstract

The role of public-sector organizations (PSOs) in promoting the agenda of sustainability accounting and accountability is not often adequately considered. In the public sector realm, local governments are close to their communities and thus have a particularly important role to play in the pursuit of sustainability goals. Hence, further research is needed to understand if Local Government Organizations (LGOs) are using reporting tools to promote sustainable development. The empirical data showed that the Sustainability Report (SR) is not being as widely used as in past years. Over time, the majority of Italian municipalities have not initiated or continued sustainability reporting due to some barriers including cost reduction, voluntariness, and low SR effectiveness. The findings suggest the popularity of SRs in Italy is falling and the SR tool appears to be “mere trend reporting based on descriptive indicators leading to decreasing interest from internal and external audiences”. The carrot has been unsuccessful. Perhaps the implementation of mandatory requirements could alternatively be used as a stick.

Suggested Citation

  • Davide Giacomini & Laura Rocca & Cristian Carini & Mario Mazzoleni, 2018. "Overcoming the Barriers to the Diffusion of Sustainability Reporting in Italian LGOs: Better Stick or Carrot?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:131-:d:125955
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Giacomini & Paola Zola & Diego Paredi & Mario Mazzoleni, 2020. "Environmental disclosure and stakeholder engagement via social media: State of the art and potential in public utilities," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(4), pages 1552-1564, July.
    2. Anca Gabriela Petrescu & Florentina Raluca Bîlcan & Marius Petrescu & Ionica Holban Oncioiu & Mirela Cătălina Türkeș & Sorinel Căpuşneanu, 2020. "Assessing the Benefits of the Sustainability Reporting Practices in the Top Romanian Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(8), pages 1-31, April.
    3. Lucia Biondi & Enrico Bracci, 2018. "Sustainability, Popular and Integrated Reporting in the Public Sector: A Fad and Fashion Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(9), pages 1-16, August.
    4. Fridolin Simon Brand & Verena Berger & Katharina Hetze & Jörg E. U. Schmidt & Marie-Christin Weber & Herbert Winistörfer & Claus-Heinrich Daub, 2018. "Overcoming current practical challenges in sustainability and integrated reporting: insights from a Swiss field study [Die Bewältigung der aktuellen praktischen Herausforderungen in der Nachhaltigk," NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum | Sustainability Management Forum, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 35-46, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability reporting; local government organizations; sustainable development; mail survey; public sector;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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