Corporate Sustainability Indicators In Banking Sector Accounting Essay

Abstraction: The intent of this paper is to see the state of affairs sing the indexs from the Sustainability Reports. For this we use a qualitative research, a content analysis of these studies. Our sample is composed by the Bankss that develop their activity in our state for which we analysed the last twelvemonth studies at group degree. We choose merely an industry sector to obtain the homogenity of the sample. The findings reveal a figure of 86 indexs, which were used in these studies. We analized the Global Reporting Initiative ( GRI ) indexs used by 12 companies. The most reported indexs are EN4, EN8, LA1, LA10, while the last reported indexs are E5, E10 E13 E15, EN20, EN21, EN23, EN27, HR9, HR10 The consequences obtained are of import for future research in this country, for both directors and research workers.


Corporate societal duty and sustainability issues are more and more present in twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours activity of the organisations. So, we can see the companies give importance to this issues and luxuriant studies in this regard. , like guidelines, because these have a voluntary nature. Organizations take into history the most representative one, the Global Reporting Initiative ( GRI, 2006 ) . It contains indexs grouped in economical, environmental, public presentation, societal ( labour patterns, human rights, society, and merchandise duty ) indexs ( GRI, 2006 ) .

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In our demarche we strat with a brief literature reappraisal sing the corporate economic, societal, environmental duty facets, folowed by the description of the research methodological analysis. After these we present the consequences and some treatments, accompanied by decisions and future research.

The literature reappraisal

The impression of sustainability is about guaranting a balanced graduated table related to the societal, environmental and economic facets. ( Figge and Hahn, 2004 ) . An organisation whose activity is sing facets of sustainable development will move in this sense on long term. Sustainability was foremost mentioned by the World Commission on Environment and Development ( 1987 ) .

Taking duty for its impact on society agencies, foremost, that an organisation histories for its actions. Social answerability ( Brennan and Solomon 2008 ) . a construct that describes the communicating of the societal and the environmental effects of the actions of an organisation by its stakeholders, is an of import component of societal duty. Many companies publish externally audited one-year studies covering sustainable development issues, studies which vary widely in format, manner and methodological analysis of rating, even within the same industry. ( Cheung 2011, Lo and Sheu 2007, Lo’pez et Al. 2007 ) .

There is a really all right line between corporate administration, corporate societal duty and sustainability. All are highly of import for a company and should non be viewed individually. Responsibility for society is a strong differentiating factor for companies, with deductions on sustainable development of society. Social duty actions, on short-run, include costs for the organisation, but on long term they bring a win-win-win relationship, if we try to look beyond the Numberss. Social duty is non a necessity, is an of import economically, ecologically, and socially duty.

There are some relevant surveies on corporate economical, societal, environmental duty and sustainability issues. Some writers like Ratanajongkol et Al. ( 2006 ) , Cooke ( 1989 ) , Deegan and Gordon ( 1996 ) high spots that these indexs are unrevealed. Proper direction of human resources, sustainable development advancement, taking to the addition of the income through the addition of the productiveness, which is focused on take downing costs. The impression of corporate sustainability public presentation measuring has been discussed, among others, by Atkinson ( 2000 ) Beloff et Al. ( 2004 ) , Schwarz et Al. ( 2002 ) , Szekely and Knirsch ( 2005 ) , Tanzil and Beloff ( 2006 ) . The societal or environmental issues can hold an influence on economic public presentation and therefore should be a duologue with stakeholders to be in changeless interaction with the manner they develop their activity. A figure of publications have focused specifically on the balanced scorecard attack to public presentation measuring ( Hubbard 2009, Schaltegger and Wagner 2006, Dias-Sardinha and Reijnders, 2005 ; Figge et Al. 2002 ) .


Sing the research methodological analysis, our inquiry is: “ what indexs are presently being disclosed in corporate sustainability studies? ” To turn to this inquiry, a entire figure of 12 banking companies corporate sustainability studies, at group degree, were identified and analyzed in content We considered the last studies which were published on their web sites.

Consequences and treatments

The Global Reporting Initiative ( GRI ) , originally started by CERES ( Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies ) and UNEP ( United Nations Environment Programme ) , is an independent multi-stakeholder enterprise, which has developed guidelines for sustainability coverage. The GRI guidelines set out describing rules every bit good as specific content for the sustainability study. They construction sustainability coverage in footings of economic, ecological and societal public presentation ( besides known as the “ ternary underside line ” ) . GRI coverage is based on 11 rules like: transparence, inclusiveness, auditability, completeness, relevancy, sustainability context, truth, neutrality, comparison, lucidity, seasonableness: regular publication of studies.

There are different names to mention to the sustainability studies and besides their length varies. This assortment denotes the deficiency of understanding on revelation of this information.

Table 1. Types and length of studies from the sample


Type of study

Number of studies

Maximal length

Minimum length

Mean length


Citizenship Report






Corporate SocialResponsibility Report






Sustainability Report











We split the indexs into 3 chief classs ( sing the ternary bottom line ) . The figure of indexs for each class is illustrated in the figure below:

Table 2. Number of indexs and index class


Indicator Category

Number of indexs


EC Economic



EN Environment



LA Labor Practices and descent work

HR Human Rights

So Society

PRProduct and service





The Citizenship Report, the Corporate Social Responsibility Report, the Sustainability Report highlight more environmental indexs than the others. The environmental class was by far the most represented with 29 indexs, followed by the fiscal class.

In footings of economic public presentation, it can be easy measured utilizing internationally accepted indexs. Besides, environmental public presentation is measured by analyzing the study used resources-results, while societal public presentation is more hard to cipher. It must be exceeded the threshold under which the construct remains at a philosophical attack phase ( determined by the deficiency of pertinence ) and recognized that it can be managed decently, going a accelerator for sustainability. Pull offing societal duty in corporate administration should be viewed as a win-win-win scheme on long term. In U.S.A. corporate societal duty has a voluntary nature. At European degree there are specific colonies, while in Romania we can see the interlingual renditions of the international organisations corporate societal duty, without deep engagement.

Michael Porter and Mark Kramer ( 2002 ) , noted that “ in the long runaˆ¦social and economic ends are non inherently conflicting but integrally connected ” ( p. 5 ) . They see a mutualism between economic/social investments/returns, more precisely organisations must concentrate on that actions that conveying benefits both for them an for society.


The 12 corporations studied disclosed a entire figure of 95 different indexs. The research highligts that all companies from our sample reported on all three countries of the ternary bottom line. These findings support the avowal of Brown et Al. ‘s ( 2009a ) who said that the GRI is going an established establishment.

Many companies do non pass on about their activities on duty. Some do non desire to believe that congratulations or that use a selling fast one. Others believe that a communicating associating to societal duty is the sole sphere of corporations. And for others, responsible concern is something so natural that it ne’er occurred to speak about it. In fact, allowing people know what a company does in socially responsible activity, is provided information that they need about company values, merchandises and services are offered on the market.

As a method of advancing information on the organisation ‘s societal duty involvment is the readying and the publication of the societal duty studies, which must guarantee sensible representation of the public presentation of the organisation, including the positive and the negative facets. Coverage is an built-in portion of affecting stakeholders in the interaction procedure. The Corporate Social Responsibility Report signifiers are: free study ( leaflets with information about actions taken by the company ) , ternary bottom line study ( includes economic, societal and environmental indexs ) , standardized study ( AA1000, SA8000, GRI, etc. ) .

The consequences of the research highlights the usage of the corporate sustainability indexs in pattern and can be a footing for farther research in this regard, which can be continued with some in depth questionnaire interview to explicate how were selected, how are used, how they evolved etc. The chief decision of this survey is that the indexs disclosed are really diverse and because of this is a spot hard to lucubrate a standard set of indexs.


This article was elaborated in the PhD undertaking in Europe Knowledge Economy Standards, DoEsEC. , Financed by the European Union and co-financed by European Social Fund Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013 in coaction with the Academy of Economic Studies.


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