Sustainability Reporting: A Comparative Analysis in Portuguese and Brazilian Major Companies

Sustainability Reporting: A Comparative Analysis in Portuguese and Brazilian Major Companies

Pedro Fernandes Anunciação (Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Setúbal, Portugal), Duarte Xara Brasil (School of Business Administration, Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal, Setúbal, Portugal), Jane A. Marques (University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil), Agatha Peres Nunes Matias (School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil) and Camila Pires Garcia (School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEM.2016100102
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Abstract

Environmental, social and economic disasters became sustainability a central topic in global agenda during the twentieth century. It generates more society's awareness regarding environmental problems and companies concerns on the topic, causing the inclusion of sustainability issues as one of the priorities in their strategic plans. Organizations' components of sustainability have been created with different focus and priorities, it originated significant differences in how organizations approach sustainability in terms of objectives, policies and initiatives chosen (EIRIS, 2012). Sustainable reports publications have been the main communication vehicle of organization approaches. This study aims, through an exploratory approach, to understand sustainability metrics adopted in organizational environment and to analyze how the top ten Brazilian and Portuguese companies – listed on the BOVESPA and EURONEXT Lisbon – internalize sustainability practices and utilize their sustainability reports as a marketing tool.
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2. Theoretical Foundation

Several environmental disasters and financial/ethic scandals led to an impressive growth in society’s awareness those issues, in Europe and later in the USA (Van Bellen, 2002). Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important topic in today’s corporate world and can contribute to the current and future success of organizations. The integration of ecological, social, and economic objectives into corporate decisions is a key success factor for transformation towards sustainability (Muller & Pfleger, 2014). Management and shareholders cannot overlap the corporations’ interests to economic and social assets of the society itself (Marcondes, 2010). They have the responsibility to show to different players that corporation activity respects the main principles and treaties aimed at preserving the economy and society in the long term (Anunciação, 2014). This is a collective and gradual process. The inclusion of issues related to sustainability and its deepening as a central component in organizational management and their strategic plans is an evolutionary process: many companies have come a long way to get there (SAM, 2012).

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