The Relevance of Sustainability Reporting and Assurance: A Global Perspective

Rezaee, Zabihollah
Homayoun, Saeid
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This paper examines the factors and determinants of sustainability reporting and assurance (SRA) worldwide. We perform descriptive and regression analyses in determining the trends in quality and quantity of SRA and determinants of SRA using the Global Reporting Initiative database from 2005-2016. We find: (1) the quantity and quality of SRA have significantly increased worldwide in the past decade; (2) a positive association between the quality and quantity of SRA and sustainability disclosure, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); (3) sustainability reporting quantity and quality are significantly associated with legal, social, ethical and environmental factors. Our results provide insight to both factors and determinants of SRA, which shed light in identifying the nature and benefits of SRA in the voluntary disclosure literature. Our findings are relevant to current debates among global policymakers, regulators, standard-setters, the business community, and the accounting profession in improving the quantity and quality of SRA.
1. Sustainability Reporting and Assurance, 2. Sustainability Disclosure, 3. Corporate Social Responsibility
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