"Green washing" or "authentic effort"? An empirical investigation of the quality of sustainability reporting by banks

Khan, Habib Zaman, Bose, Sudipta, Mollik, Abu Taher, and Harun, Harun (2021) "Green washing" or "authentic effort"? An empirical investigation of the quality of sustainability reporting by banks. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 35 (9). pp. 338-369.

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Abstract

This study explores the quality of sustainability reporting (QSR) and the impact of regulatory guidelines, social performance and a standardized reporting framework (using the Global Reporting Initiative [GRI] guidelines) on QSR in the context of banks in Bangladesh. Using a sample of 315 banking firm-year observations over 13 years (2002–2014), a content analysis technique is used to develop the 11-item QSR index. Regression analysis is used to test the research hypotheses. Initially, QSR evolved symbolically in Bangladesh's banks but, over our investigation period, with QSR indicators gradually improving, the trends became substantive. The influences on QSR were sustainable banking practice regulatory guidelines, social performance and use of the GRI guidelines. However, until banks improve reporting information, such as external verification and trends over time, QSR cannot be regarded as fully substantive. This study is the first on QSR in the banking industry context, with previous research mostly investigating the quantity of sustainability reporting. The current study also synthesizes QSR with sustainability regulation and social performance factors which have rarely been used in the sustainability literature. To gain a holistic understanding of QSR, existing QSR measures are advanced by combining external reporting efforts with banks' internalization initiatives.

Item ID: 75486
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-4205
Copyright Information: © Emerald Publishing Limited
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 02:37
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3899 Other economics > 389999 Other economics not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 11 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 1101 Environmentally sustainable commercial services and tourism > 110199 Environmentally sustainable commercial services and tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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