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A proposed preliminary maturity grid for assessing sustainability reporting based on quality management principles
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering. Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Visby, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6487-5522
2019 (English)In: The TQM Journal, ISSN 1754-2731, E-ISSN 1754-274X, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 451-466Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

Sustainability reports (SRs) could be viewed as organisational measurements of sustainability performance. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how well SRs are measuring and communicating sustainability and how reporting could be assessed and improved by presenting a maturity grid based on quality management principles.

Design/methodology/approach

Quality management students have assessed publicly available SRs. A total of 55 student assessments have been analysed by the author and used to indicate how understandable reports are. Quality management principles and input from the student assessments have been used to propose a maturity grid for sustainability reporting quality.

Findings

The indication is that SRs are not easy to interpret. The word sustainability aspect used should be replaced with impact on vital stakeholder needs. Guidelines for analysing reports could be improved by using process focus to clearly describe scope of reporting as the entire value chain.

Research limitations/implications

Results are limited to assessing how sustainability is measured. How sustainable the organisations are is not assessed. The research is ongoing, and the proposed matrix is preliminary needing validation and further modification.

Practical implications

The proposed maturity grid for sustainability reporting forms a good basis for further development of SRs and the critical review of them.

Social implications

Results indicate a need to report sustainability in the entire value chain and to focus more on vital stakeholder needs such as poverty and climate change.

Originality/value

The paper discusses a field of synergies between quality and sustainability management, which is important but still sparingly researched.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019. Vol. 31, no 3, p. 451-466
Keywords [en]
Quality management principles, Value chain, Sustainability reporting, Maturity grid, Agenda 2030, Stakeholder focus
National Category
Reliability and Maintenance
Research subject
Quality Technology & Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-73593DOI: 10.1108/TQM-12-2017-0167OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-73593DiVA, id: diva2:1304163
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 1;2019-04-29 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-04-11 Created: 2019-04-11 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved

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Isaksson, Raine

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