Anisse Boumaraf

Document Type

Honors Thesis


This project’s goal is to determine if the government should mandate sustainability reporting (SR) and if so, what that would look like. SR is important since it helps companies “understand and better manage [their] impacts on people and the planet. It can identify and reduce risks, seize new opportunities, and take action towards becoming a responsible, trusted organization in a more sustainable world” (Global Reporting Initiative, 2021c). To accomplish this to the best of our abilities we as a world should be seeking to improve the systems we use. A stratified random sample of SR reports is collected across multiple industries. Some conform with the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) standards and some do not. Another sample consisting of two companies in the same industry, one exclusively GRI and the other non-GRI is gathered to account for this. Every key-performance indicator (KPI) in the reports is assigned a grade on a scale from 1 to 5 on its usefulness. Converting the SR reports into numbers allows data analysis to be used on them. The results indicated that GRI standards led to higher scoring KPIs by a margin of 0.70, but even then, the KPIs do not average close to a score of 5 (average score of 4.21). The GRI reports had a near equal split between environmental-social-economic KPIs (35-37-28) while non-GRI had an imbalance (25-65-10). These elements together indicate that the government should be involved in the formulation of industry-specific SR statements that accompany financial statements to bridge the gap between current standard KPIs and the ideal score of 5. Since standardization proved useful, the U.S. government should adopt standards from the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF), who would establish criteria for sustainability reports and statements, which the U.S. would write into the law.

Publication Date






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