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The Involvement of Real Estate Companies in Sustainable Development—An Analysis from the SDGs Reporting Perspective

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  • Elena Ionașcu

    () (Doctoral School of Economics and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, 14 Lapusneanu Street, Building R, 700057 Iași, Romania)

  • Marilena Mironiuc

    () (Accounting, Business Information Systems and Statistics Department, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, 22 Carol I Boulevard, Building B, 700505 Iași, Romania)

  • Ion Anghel

    () (Department of Financial and Economic Analysis, Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, The Bucharest University of Economic Studies, 6 Piata Romana Street, 010374 Bucharest, Romania)

  • Maria Carmen Huian

    () (Accounting, Business Information Systems and Statistics Department, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași, 22 Carol I Boulevard, Building B, 700505 Iași, Romania)

Abstract

As transparency has become the new paradigm of economic activities, we set out to analyse the extent to which the EU real estate companies legitimise their role in society through the sustainable development goals (SDGs) while meeting stakeholders’ information needs. Applying the content analysis, the sustainability reports and the annual reports of the entities from the real estate sector, from 2016 to 2018, were studied in order to highlight the priority SDGs of the field and the extent to which they are integrated in their business models. In addition, we evaluated, based on a quality score, the depth with which the entities report their sustainability commitments. The results of the study show that although more and more real estate entities are expressing their interest for sustainable development, there is still a large gap between the assumed intentions and the real actions undertaken by the companies. Most of them do not have the strategy, culture and tools needed to turn sustainability commitments into concrete actions. According to the average quality score (2.99 out of 5), the entities present their sustainability aspirations mostly qualitatively and report few quantitative key performance indicators (KPIs) to reveal the degree of achievement of the priority SDGs, such as: SDG 11—Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 13—Climate action and SDG 8—Decent work and economic growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Ionașcu & Marilena Mironiuc & Ion Anghel & Maria Carmen Huian, 2020. "The Involvement of Real Estate Companies in Sustainable Development—An Analysis from the SDGs Reporting Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:3:p:798-:d:311655
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Corina Joseph & Ross Taplin, 2011. "The measurement of sustainability disclosure: Abundance versus occurrence," Accounting Forum, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 19-31, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ionaşcu Elena & Anghel Ion, 2020. "Improvement of the real estate transparency through digitalisation," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 371-384, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    real estate; sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainability reporting; transparency; content analysis;

    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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