Original Research

Prevalence of sustainability reporting practices of listed companies on established and emerging stock exchanges

Brendan K. Turk, Charlie Shackleton, Kevin Whittington-Jones
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 16, No 1 | a234 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v16i1.234 | © 2013 Brendan K. Turk, Charlie Shackleton, Kevin Whittington-Jones | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 June 2011 | Published: 26 February 2013

About the author(s)

Brendan K. Turk, Rhodes University
Charlie Shackleton, Rhodes University, South Africa
Kevin Whittington-Jones, Rhodes University

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Abstract

The business sector has a substantial role in addressing current environmental issues and concerns. Consequently, there is a growing adoption of corporate sustainability principles and practices across all market sectors. This study examined four developed and four emerging stock markets and the sustainability reporting practices of the top 20 and bottom 20 companies in each. The results illustrate that the developed market sector was more advanced in its corporate sustainability reporting, both in the proportion of companies issuing a sustainability report (approximately 60 per cent) and the proportion of company webpages dedicated to sustainability reporting. This difference was largely due to the effect of the top 20 companies. There was little difference between developed and developing markets when only the bottom 20 companies were considered, of which less than one-third provided sustainability reports.  These results show that sustainability reporting is prevalent in both developed and developing markets, especially among market leading companies, but that overall, most developing markets have some catching up to do. 

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