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Sustainability, accountability and corporate governance: exploring multinationals' reporting practices

"Recent years have seen a rapid increase in accountability pressures on particularly large global companies. The increased call for transparency comes from two different angles, which show some (potential) convergence in terms of topics and audiences: accountability requirements in the context of corporate governance, which expand to staff-related, ethical aspects; and sustainability reporting that has broadened from environment only to social and financial issues. This article examines to what extent and how current sustainability reporting of Fortune Global 250 companies incorporates corporate governance aspects. Many multinationals, particularly in Europe and Japan, have started to pay attention to board supervision and structuring of sustainability responsibilities, to compliance, ethics and external verification. While detailed disclosures are not yet common, some notable practices can be found. Underlying dilemmas and complexities for managers in dealing with accountability to shareholders and stakeholders, and the role of auditors, are indicated"
Ans Kolk
University of Amsterdam Business School, The Netherlands
Input By: 
Shekhar Chandra
MIT PhD student
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