Despite the relevance of the public sector, that internationally accounts for about the 40 per cent of all economic activity (Ball and Grubnic, 2007), little sustainability reporting and practices research has been published. The paper addresses this in an Italian context, by analysing voluntary disclosure practice within Italian local governments and the patterns of disclosure provided and not provided. Specifically, it examines a group of Italian LGs practising social reporting (SOR). In Italy the SOR complements the annual report with further social and environmental data, as well as various other general public agency information. This study uses content analysis to determine the type and extent of disclosure in these stand alone SOR. The paper analyses SOR by applying a coding instrument based on the GRI, because the GRI framework ensures a standardised list of elements (eg. metrics and narratives) which can be used to identify reporting practices. Several observations emerge from the study. First, the disclosure on the elements based on GRI was fragmentary. Second, the most accounted category, based on of the coding instrument, is the one named public agencies. There is a little disclosure on social and environmental elements within the SOR, despite the title of the stand alone report analysed, i.e. SOR; Several categories and elements of the coding instrument used were not reported at all; The average of the elements disclosed is 13% and in this figure most of the disclosures concern the category shown as public agencies.

Sustainability reporting in Italian local governments. What they do not report?

FARNETI, FEDERICA;SIBONI, BENEDETTA
2008

Abstract

Despite the relevance of the public sector, that internationally accounts for about the 40 per cent of all economic activity (Ball and Grubnic, 2007), little sustainability reporting and practices research has been published. The paper addresses this in an Italian context, by analysing voluntary disclosure practice within Italian local governments and the patterns of disclosure provided and not provided. Specifically, it examines a group of Italian LGs practising social reporting (SOR). In Italy the SOR complements the annual report with further social and environmental data, as well as various other general public agency information. This study uses content analysis to determine the type and extent of disclosure in these stand alone SOR. The paper analyses SOR by applying a coding instrument based on the GRI, because the GRI framework ensures a standardised list of elements (eg. metrics and narratives) which can be used to identify reporting practices. Several observations emerge from the study. First, the disclosure on the elements based on GRI was fragmentary. Second, the most accounted category, based on of the coding instrument, is the one named public agencies. There is a little disclosure on social and environmental elements within the SOR, despite the title of the stand alone report analysed, i.e. SOR; Several categories and elements of the coding instrument used were not reported at all; The average of the elements disclosed is 13% and in this figure most of the disclosures concern the category shown as public agencies.
2008
Proceedings of the 7th Australasian Conference for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (A-CSEAR 2008)
210
225
F. Farneti; B. Siboni
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/97430
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