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Peut-on mesurer les performances de développement durable?


  • Olivier Boiral


The possibility of measuring and comparing sustainability performance is generally taken for granted in management studies and practices based on the evaluation, selection and ranking of the supposedly best companies in the field. The purpose of this article is to question this basic assumption by analyzing the comparability of sustainability performance through a systematic review of 12 mining company reports using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The analysis of information based on 92 GRI indicators raises serious questions concerning the hypothesis of measurability and comparability of sustainability performance, drawing attention to the main reasons that make it very difficult if not impossible to establish a credible and justifiable classification among organizations. La possibilité de mesurer et de comparer les performances de développement durable est généralement prise pour acquise tant dans les recherches en gestion que dans les pratiques de classement ou de sélection des meilleures entreprises dans ce domaine. L'objectif de cet article est d'examiner cette hypothèse de mesurabilité et de comparabilité des performances de développement durable à partir de l'étude systématique de 12 rapports d'entreprises minières utilisant le même guideline du Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). L'analyse des informations relatives aux 92 indicateurs du GRI utilisés remet en cause l'hypothèse de comparabilité des performances de développement durable en mettant en lumière les principales raisons qui rendent pratiquement impossible l'établissement d'un classement crédible et justifiable entre les entreprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier Boiral, 2010. "Peut-on mesurer les performances de développement durable?," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-11, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Chen & Petra Bouvain, 2009. "Is Corporate Responsibility Converging? A Comparison of Corporate Responsibility Reporting in the USA, UK, Australia, and Germany," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 299-317, April.
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    5. Olivier Boiral & Mario Cayer & Charles Baron, 2009. "The Action Logics of Environmental Leadership: A Developmental Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(4), pages 479-499, April.
    6. James Guthrie & Federica Farneti, 2008. "GRI Sustainability Reporting by Australian Public Sector Organizations," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 28(6), pages 361-366, December.
    7. Güler Aras & David Crowther, 2009. "Corporate Sustainability Reporting: A Study in Disingenuity?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 279-288, April.
    8. Clarkson, Peter M. & Li, Yue & Richardson, Gordon D. & Vasvari, Florin P., 2008. "Revisiting the relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(4-5), pages 303-327.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-097 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hélène Pasquini & Frédéric Teulon, 2014. "What is the perception of corporate social responsibility for fund managers in Switzerland?," Working Papers 2014-97, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.

    More about this item


    sustainable development; reporting; performance; GRI; comparability; développement durable; rapports; performance; GRI; comparabilité;

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