Corporate Sustainability Reporting and the Mining Industry

This research paper focuses on explaining how corporate sustainability reporting contributes to more ethical performance of publicly listed mining companies in Canada. It is based on in-depth interviews with individuals who have expertise on sustainability issues in the mining industry in combination with content analysis of corporate sustainability reports released by top Canadian mining companies between the year 2010 to 2013. The research implication is twofold: for one thing, in order to take the strategic benefits of corporate sustainability reporting, mining firms should view corporate sustainability reporting as an ongoing measurement process within the company and its operating sites rather than a well-written document produced by the reporting team; for another, the construction of the reporting cycle is the key determinant that drives the move from corporate sustainability reporting towards corporate behavioral changes. This study suggests that fostering inclusivity of corporate sustainability reporting is just the initial step in promoting more ethical performance of mining companies. The reflexive function of corporate sustainability reporting reaches its full capacity only when the reporting requirements are viewed and implemented as a set of enduring activities, which involves interwoven stages such as goal setting, personnel and fund distributing, monitoring, internal and external consulting, reviewing, and feedbacking.
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