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Type: Conference paper
Title: Measuring social, economic and environmental sustainability at the enterprise level: a case study of an Australian utility corporation's sustainability report
Author: Davidson, K.
Wilson, L.
Citation: Proceedings of the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 27 October, 2006 / C. Hopkinson and C. Hall (eds.): 14p. [electronic resource]
Publisher: QUT
Publisher Place: www
Issue Date: 2006
ISBN: 1741071291
Conference Name: Social Change in the 21st Century (2006 : Brisbane)
Statement of
Kathryn Davidson and Lou Wilson
Abstract: The debate on a sustainable future for Australia has focused enterprises on developing triple bottom line or sustainability reports. Enterprises now commonly provide reports to their stakeholders on sustainability. However it is argued in this paper that shortcomings in current reporting practices are limiting the measurement of sustainability. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the most commonly applied consistent framework for enterprises, recommends the application of indicators that consider the inter-relations between the economy, society and the environment. However, these recommendations are not generally being translated into practice by firms. The environmental aspects of enterprise sustainability reports tend to be privileged over the social and economic components. Indicators of the social and economic impact of an enterprise generally draw upon productivity and human relation measurements rather than measures directly relevant to the impact of enterprise actions on the community. To illustrate these arguments we offer a case study of the Australian Gas Light Company, (AGL), 2004 Sustainability Report, and a critique of the GRI. AGL is a large Australian energy company. We argue that inter-related indicators tend not to be considered within enterprise sustainability reports. It is argued that social and economic externalities of enterprises have an impact on surrounding communities and hence should be measured and reported in conjunction with environmental factors. Moreover, these reports should to be developed in a manner that enables the context of sustainability to be adequately explored.
Keywords: sustainability
RMID: 0020062744
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Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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