How Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Standards Address Stakeholder Needs in the Americas
The current stage of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting is defined by multi-stakeholder initiatives. An increasing number of stakeholder groups is putting pressure on corporations to act responsibly. More CSR reporting standards are being developed to address these needs. As the level of CSR reporting increases, it is important to consider if and how these CSR reporting standards are adequately addressing stakeholders’ needs.
To accomplish this goal, the first step was to identify stakeholders’ needs. Interviews with trade representatives from the thirty-five countries in North and South America were used to compile a list of stakeholders’ needs in the region. Trade representatives were used because of their position in dealing with a variety of stakeholder groups that have various social and environmental agenda. Once stakeholders’ needs were identified, then three of the most widely used CSR reporting standards were evaluated to determine the adequacy of coverage they provided.
The analysis in this article details how the different reporting standards met the stakeholder needs in the different regions of the Americas. The results of this article provided additional evidence that the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G3 standards result in the most thorough coverage. However, even these standards failed to adequately report on some of the most controversial stakeholder needs in the region, such as job creation, competition, and employment. Therefore, some stakeholder needs are not being satisfied by the information in CSR reports as key issues are still not being adequately reported if companies are following these standards.
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