CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING IN SRI LANKA

S. Senaratne, K. Liyanagedara

Abstract


The study examines the level of compliance of Sri Lankan companies with Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Guidelines on Sustainability Reporting, which is considered as the best practice for corporate sustainability reporting and assesses the associated issues. This study was based on secondary data gathered through the annual reports of thirty four companies selected from seven business sectors of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). The annual reports of these companies were analyzed using a checklist prepared based on GRI Guidelines. The study finds that Sri Lankan companies do not consider GRI Guidelines in reporting for sustainability. Out of thirty four companies, only two companies have presented sustainability reports and nine other companies have made disclosures relating to environmental and social impacts. Although these two companies have addressed the issue sustainability to some extent, none of them have complied with GRI Guidelines on Sustainability Reporting. Although the reports of these eleven companies have not made a reference to GRI Guidelines, they have complied moderately with the minimum level of application of these Guidelines. This was due to the fact that most of the disclosures of minimum application level of GRI Guidelines are already included in the current financial reporting framework in Sri Lanka. These findings show that there is an expectation gap as to the information needs of stakeholders on sustainability reporting and the information disclosed in the annual reports of companies in the Sri Lankan context. Hence, there is a long way forward for Sri Lankan companies in respect of sustainability reporting, which is considered as a cornerstone in corporate reporting today.

 

Key words: Accountability, GRI Guidelines, Responsibility, Stakeholders, Sustainability Reporting

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk


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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce