Does firms’ commitment translate into social, environmental and governance performance improvement?

Towards sustainable development: Does firms’ commitment translate into social, environmental and governance performance improvement?

Does firms’ commitment translate into social, environmental and governance performance improvement?

This paper analyzes whether firms’ commitment with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development improve their social, environmental and governance performance.

The sample is composed of public Canadian firms for which the environmental, social and performance scores are available in Asset 4 database (in the shared Excel file).

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The Challenge of Sustainable Development Goal Reporting: The First Evidence from Italian Listed Companies

Maria Federica Izzo 1,*, Mirella Ciaburri 2 and Riccardo Tiscini 3

1 Department of Business and Management, University San Raffaele Rome and Luiss Guido Carli University,
00100 Rome, Italy

2 Department of Economics, Niccolò Cusano University of Rome, 00166 Rome, Italy;
mirella.ciaburri@unicusano.it

3. Department of Economics, Mercatorum University of Rome, 00186 Rome, Italy; r.tiscini@unimercatorum.it
* Correspondence: federica.izzo@uniroma5.it

Abstract: This research investigates the extent to which the voluntary disclosure of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), also, assumed to be the most recent innovation in social disclosures and corporate sustainability reporting, is diffused among Italian listed companies through
different instruments of disclosure (voluntary or non-voluntary). Our findings reveal that SDGs
awareness amongst the business community is high and also that the majority of highly-traded, liquid,
and also highly-capitalized Italian companies have introduced SDGs in their disclosure and story-telling
practices, while the exact nature and requirements of the SDGs, and the definitions of specific key
performance indicators (KPIs) related to those goals, are still missing.

Italian companies prefer using
non-financial statements and sustainability reports to disclose information about their commitments to
SDGs, and also most of them started to report information about SDGs in 2016. Additionally, this research
seeks to identify the significant differences between SDG reporters in different sectors, under the
assumption that operating in a specific sector could significantly affect a company’s decision to
disclose information on their SDGs. This research highlights, following the recent evolution of
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure and also sustainability reporting, the increasing relevance
of SDGs in Italian companies’ disclosure practices and, at the same time, the gaps to be cover for
their effective implementation.