There are so many researches regarding non – financial reporting “often referred as sustainability reporting” (Ernst &Young 2009) in the literature. On the basis of the specified preliminary studies, it is possible to argue that the sustainability reports published by enterprises are directly related with the voluntary reporting level of organization. This situation also makes a direct impact on the presentation of financial reports and improves the reliability of enterprises to stakeholders. In the most general expression, the concept of sustainability suggests that the society should not exploit a resource, which cannot be recreated, too much. This is rather defined as sustaining the capacity of the ecosystem. When the situation is assessed in terms of the social and economic system in which an organization is involved, the exploitation of resources refers to permanency not only in terms of measurement of costs and value creation, but also of the future activities of the enterprise (Aras & Crowther, 2009, p. 280). On the other hand, sustainable reporting is a comprehensive concept comprising ethical, environmental and social issues, which are generally denominated as corporate social responsibility or triple bottom line as well. Corporate sustainability reporting is a voluntary activity mostly involving in social and environmental practices and aiming at providing information for external users of information (Kolk, 2008, pp. 2-3).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Non – Financial Reporting: Represents voluntary provision of non-financial information by an organization for the information users constituting its external environment, including mainly its stakeholders, shareholders, investors, and partners, so that acting transparently.
Sustainability Development: Represents meeting the current needs of a country or an organization without putting future generations’ capacity of meeting their own needs as well as not overusing a resource that cannot be recreated.
Corporate Governance: The understanding of decision-making based on the principles of fairness, transparency, accountability and responsibility in order to determine the objectives of the organization in a way of satisfying the expectations of all stakeholders equally as well as observing the balance of interests between the third parties creating resources for the organization.
Accountability: A concept covering the activities of responding to information demand from the internal and external information users based on the corporate governance and corporate social responsibility of the organization.
Voluntary Disclosure: Represents sharing non-financial information, including ethical, environmental, and social issues, by an organization with internal and external information users without any legal obligation.
Corporate Social Responsibility: A concept describing the voluntary actions of an organization for fulfilling their responsibilities towards third parties providing resources for the community and the organization.
Sustainability Reporting: Represents provision of non-financial information by an organization to internal and external information users in line with the main objectives of development, in addition to an organization’s transparency in terms of its performance and as well as its management approach.