Corporate Sustainability Disclosure Standards

This paper moves beyond corporate environmental disclosure (CED), and examines the concept of corporate sustainability disclosure (CSD) and CSD standards. While sustainability disclosure has been adopted by some larger firms, the majority of transnational firms do not yet participate in this process. This paper develops a framework and propositions for effective CSD standards. Consistent with general literature on standards, this study suggests that CSD standards that are broadly-focused and developed by private standard setters (e.g., GRI) hold the greatest promise for widespread acceptance. Furthermore, the paper suggests that financial analysts--who provide the metrics for firm valuation—should participate in developing a universal set of CSD standards, in order to promote acceptance
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