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Voluntary corporate social responsibility reporting and assurance practices among United Nations Global Compact member companies

Abstract

Objective: The research aimed to identify practices applied by European companies regarding corporate social responsibility reporting and their relationship with the membership of companies in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) international organization.

Research Design & Methods: In total, the research sample consisted of 935 companies from 34 European countries. To evaluate the statistical significance of the relationship between the selected variables, we used quantitative methods, including the Pearson chi-square test.

Findings: On a large research sample, our research confirmed the impact of membership in the UNGC on non-financial reporting practices, such as: preparing integrated reports, reporting on sustainable development goals (SDGs), using the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26000 corporate social responsibility guidelines, and decisions on external assurance of sustainability reporting.

Implications & Recommendations: Conducted research has practical implications. Because the UNGC is an important factor in regard to social change towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting practices, it requires further promotion in European Union (EU) member states. New company membership in UNGC can contribute to the development of CSR reporting.

Contribution & Value Added: The article contributes to the literature on sustainability reporting because it provides new insights into the CSR reporting practices by public interest entities located in the EU countries.

Keywords

non-financial reporting, sustainability reporting, corporate social responsibility, assurance, Global Reporting Initiative

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Author Biography

Kjartan Sigurðsson

PhD in Business Administration (2020, Reykjavik University, Iceland); Associate Professor at University of Akureyri (Iceland). His research interests include CSR and sustainability, business development and strategy, innovation management and entrepreneurship, and social innovation.

Magdalena Wójcik-Jurkiewicz

PhD in Economics (2006, University of Economics in Katowice, Poland); Assistant Professor at Krakow University of Economics (Poland). Her research interests include CSR, ESG and sustainability reporting, and management, management accounting, and assurance on non-financial reporting.

Paweł Zieniuk

PhD in Finance (2017, Krakow University of Economics, Poland), Statutory Auditor (2016, Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors); Assistant Professor at Krakow University of Economics (Poland). His research interests include financial and management accounting, CSR and sustainability reporting, financial audit and assurance on non-financial reporting.


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