Title: The relation between the GRI indicators and the financial performance of firms

Authors: Olaf Weber, Thomas Koellner, Dominique Habegger, Henrik Steffensen, Peter Ohnemus

Addresses: Gesellschaft fur Organisation und Entscheidung m.b.H. (GOE), Sonnwendbuehel 2, A-4866 Unterach, Thalwil, Switzerland. ' Gesellschaft fur Organisation und Entscheidung m.b.H. (GOE), Thalwil, Switzerland and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Natural and Social Science Interface, Zurich. ' Asset4, Zug, Switzerland. ' Asset4, Zug, Switzerland. ' Asset4, Zug, Switzerland

Abstract: Sustainable investments have become increasingly common in recent years. By reporting their environmental, social and sustainability performance, companies want to present themselves as good corporate citizens and thus, attract investors. However, do sustainability reports really show a fair picture of firms| sustainability work and its outcomes for both sustainable development and financial success? In this study, a sample of 100 companies was analysed using the framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), with respect to (1) the relation between their environmental, social and sustainability activities and their impact on the environment, the social system and sustainable development and (2) the relation between their nonfinancial performance (environmental, social, sustainability) and their financial performance. The results revealed a positive correlation between the sustainability activities, the impact on sustainable development and the financial performance of the companies.

Keywords: environmental performance; sustainability; financial performance; social performance; corporate governance; global reporting initiative; GRI indicators; sustainable investment; environmental impact; industrial ecology; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/PIE.2008.019127

Progress in Industrial Ecology, An International Journal, 2008 Vol.5 No.3, pp.236 - 254

Published online: 29 Jun 2008 *

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