Playing with magic lanterns: the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and corporate triple bottom line reporting
Milne, Markus J
Within the last 4 years a coalition of leading New Zealand businesses has formed—The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD)—with the avowed intent of acting as a catalyst for change towards sustainable development via the three pillars of economic growth, environmental protection and social progress. The Council through its members intends to promote eco-efficiency, innovation and responsible entrepreneurship. As part of the Council’s agenda, Sustainable Development (or Triple Bottom Line) Reporting is being actively encouraged and promoted through its membership organisations. Members commit to producing such a report within 3 years. This study reports on both the attempts of the Council to interpret and portray sustainable development and its reporting, and on the attempts of several of its members to develop triple bottom line reports. The study critically examines the NZBCSD’s position on sustainable development (reporting) through its web-site announcements and several other documents in the context of an older and wider literature on sustainability. The study also critically examines eight members’ reports through a qualitative textual analysis. Overall, we find that while these reports manifestly use the rhetoric of “sustainability” and “sustainable development”, we detect little reporting beyond what has traditionally passed for corporate social responsibility.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series: Accountancy Working Paper Series
Research Type: Working Paper