Are Social Issues Relegated to the Backburner?: An Analysis of CSR Reports of Australian MNES
Contributor(s)University of New England
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AbstractUsing the GRI guidelines, this paper examines changes in reporting/disclosure for three broad performance areas of sustainability disclosure - environmental, social and economic - of Australian MNEs between 2004 and 2007. The social performance area is further sub-divided into four categories: labour practice and decent work; human rights; product responsibility; and society. Based on a non-parametric method of analysis, the paper provides evidence that most of the material changes in disclosure happened in the environmental category rather than those of social or economic performance areas. While increased disclosure in specific environmental areas is worth reporting, the main concern of the authors is the lack of similar improvement in disclosure in other performance areas by Australian MNEs. The aim of the paper is to examine advances in disclosures during the release of G2 and G3. The findings of this paper provide insights for policy makers to develop appropriate strategies that will encourage corporations to disclose information in accordance with social values. It is envisaged that appropriate disclosure will also encourage sustainable economic growth. Furthermore, knowledge of these areas will provide useful input for the current revision of the GRI guidelines.