Next Article in Journal
Dynamics of Smallholder Farmers’ Livelihood Adaptation Decision-Making in Central Ethiopia
Next Article in Special Issue
Natural Capital Accounting for Land in Rwanda
Previous Article in Journal
Evaluation and Optimization of the Life Cycle in Maritime Works
Open AccessArticle

Quality and Diffusion of Social and Sustainability Reporting in Italian Public Utility Companies

Department of Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari, 70121 Bari, Italy
Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4525;
Received: 21 April 2020 / Revised: 20 May 2020 / Accepted: 26 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Accounting and Accountability)
In recent decades, non-financial reporting has been widely debated in the literature relating to both public and private sectors. Non-financial reporting is used to increase accountability and transparency, and to adapt to external pressures and stakeholder expectations. The focus on external factors, i.e., transparency and stakeholders, has largely precluded research into the quality of non-financial reporting. Nevertheless, the quality and reliability of sustainability reports have been widely questioned in the literature. Non-financial reporting may provide purely symbolic actions to manage expectations. This paper analyzes the level of diffusion and quality of non-financial reporting tools in the public utility sector. We use the principles of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) framework to measure quality, i.e., clarity and accuracy, timeliness and stakeholder engagement, comparability, and reliability. We use a qualitative exploratory approach with a mix of primary and secondary sources. The results show that despite the increasing use of non-financial reporting in organizational life, it is not diffused within public utilities. We address the issue of quality, and find that, overall, the accuracy/clarity and comparability of non-financial reporting is satisfactory; timeliness and stakeholder engagement appear to be acceptable, while reliability does not appear to be acceptable. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; non-financial reporting; quality; diffusion sustainability; non-financial reporting; quality; diffusion
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Badia, F.; Bracci, E.; Tallaki, M. Quality and Diffusion of Social and Sustainability Reporting in Italian Public Utility Companies. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4525.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop