Issues in Social and Environmental AccountingVol. 1, No. 1 June 2007Pp 1-25 Extended Performance Reporting: Evaluating Corporate Social Responsibility And Intellectual Capital Management James Guthrie Faculty of Economics and Business University of Sydney, Australia Suresh Cuganesan Macquarie Graduate School of Management Macquarie University, Australia Leanne Ward St George Bank, AustraliaAbstractRecent corporate scandals have resulted in heightened attention towards the shortcomings oftraditional financial reporting frameworks. Concurrently, the rise of the corporate social re-sponsibility imperative has led to criticisms that financial reports present an incomplete accountof a firm’s activities. In addition, growing acknowledgement of the importance of a firm’s in-tangibles and intellectual capital has been associated with increased commentary about the needfor extra disclosures if a more complete picture of the firm’s value is to be provided to externalstakeholders. This paper responds to these concerns by developing an extended performancereporting framework to the Australian Food and Beverage Industry, which is characterised byboth corporate social responsibility and intellectual capital issues. In relation to the latter, thisframework presents a novel attempt to develop an industry-customised framework as called forby both industry bodies and researchers in the area.Keywords: extended performance reporting, corporate social performance, intellectual corpo-rate management, corporate social responsibilityJames Guthrie is Professor of Accounting and Chair of Discipline of Accounting, Faculty of Economics and Business,University of Sydney, Australia, email: email@example.com. Suresh Cuganesan is Associate Professor in Man-agement and Associate Dean Research, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Australia,email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leanne Ward is currently the Head of Finance Products of St. George Bankwhere she is responsible for the product revenue management for the Retail Bank division, email:email@example.com
2 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25INTRODUCTION limitation. Thus, it is argued that there is a need for a reporting framework thatRecent accounting scandals (such as combines the developments of these twothose involving Ansett, Enron, HIH, relevant literatures, to produce an inte-One.Tel and Worldcom) have drawn grated model that will sufficiently ad-increasing attention to the shortcomings dress the two major limitations of theof Traditional Financial Reporting TFR framework. This leads to the first(TFR) (Brennan & Connell, 2000). objective of this paper, which is to de-Concurrently, recent developments in velop an EPR framework that integratesthe context in which companies operate, frameworks from the ICR and CSR lit-such as the rise of the knowledge-based eratures.economy and the importance of intellec-tual capital in influencing competitive Further, this paper argues that there is aadvantage on the one hand, and the need for such a framework to addressmovement towards sustainable develop- industry-specific variables. A problemment together with corporate social re- with the existing ICR and CSR frame-sponsibility imperatives on the other, works is that they tend to be of a gener-have led to criticisms that the TFR alised nature and do not address specificframework presents an incomplete pic- company or industry issues. Despite theture of a firm’s value (Brennan & Con- effect of industry-specific variables be-nell, 2000), and provides an incomplete ing an important consideration in devel-account of a firm’s activities respec- oping a reporting framework (GRI,tively (Elkington, 1997; Gray et al, 2002; 2005; DEH, 1999), few studies to1993). date have incorporated industry vari- ables in their reporting frameworksThis paper attempts to address these (Guthrie et al., 2005). Further, accord-growing concerns in relation to the limi- ing to Guthrie et al. (2004), the general-tations of the TFR framework. It argues ised nature of most disclosure instru-for the need for an extended perform- ments is a limitation on the accuracy ofance reporting (EPR) approach that inte- the results of empirical studies, and thatgrates frameworks from the Intellectual introducing greater situational specific-Capital Reporting (ICR) and Corporate ity into the coding process represents anSocial Responsibility (CSR) literatures. avenue for improvement. However, fewAs previously indicated, the TFR frame- studies to date have modified the codingwork is subject to two major limitations. instrument in an effort to control sizeThese relate to the TFR framework pre- and industry effects across a sample ofsenting an incomplete account of a companies. This paper attempts to ad-firm’s value and an incomplete account dress this limitation by incorporatingof a firm’s business activities. The ICR industry-specific variables into the EPRand CSR literatures both aim to resolve framework developed. Hence, the sec-some of the limitations of the TFR ond objective of this paper is to incorpo-framework. However, they tend to focus rate industry-specific variables for a spe-on different aspects of the limitations, cific industry into the EPR framework.that is, the ICR literature attempts toaddress the first limitation and the CSR The paper is structured as follows. Theliterature attempts to address the second next section reviews the intellectual
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 3capital and corporate social responsibil- resources that are increasingly importantity literatures and the criticisms raised in the knowledge-based economyby each for TFR. This is followed by a (Brennan & Connell, 2000; Roslender §ion that discusses the various phases Fincham, 2001; Guthrie, 2001; Mourit-of developing the EPR for the Australian sen, 2004). The often substantial differ-Food and Beverage Industry. The paper ence that exists between a firm’s marketconcludes with a synthesis of its contri- and book values suggests that the TFRbutions. framework presents an incomplete ac- count of a firm’s value. Brennan & Connell (2000) indicate that many of theINTELLECTUAL CAPITAL AND differences can be explained by IC itemsCORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSI- that are not recognised under the TFRBILITY framework. According to Hope & Hope (1998), between 50 and 90 percent of theOver the last several decades, there has value created by a firm is estimated tobeen a shift from the industrial age to the come from the management of IC, ratherinformation age. In the industrial era, a than from the management of traditionalcompany’s intangible assets, such as physical assets. Thus, the TFR frame-buildings, machinery, and plant and work has been criticised in that manyequipment, were the source of economic strategically important intangible re-strength. Currently, intellectual assets, sources (such as employee knowledgesuch as competencies, processes and and expertise, trademarks and informa-people are the hidden sources of current tion systems) that are increasingly im-and future wealth (Guthrie, 2001; Kap- portant in the rise of the knowledge-lan & Norton, 1996; Petty & Guthrie, based economy, are not accounted for in2000). the traditional balance sheet and finan- cial statements.Commensurate with the decline in tradi-tional industries and the concurrent The incomplete view of firm value pro-growth in knowledge-based industries, vided by the traditional balance sheet isthe management, measurement and re- an important issue because it can lead toporting of Intellectual Capital (IC) has problems such as misallocation of capi-gained importance. As a result of the tal and under-investment in IC-creatingshift to the information age, the ability activities (Carroll & Tansey, 2000).of a company to mobilise and exploit its With the important role IC plays in cre-intangible, or invisible, assets has be- ating a firm’s sustainable competitivecome far more decisive than investing advantage, information on the firm’sand managing physical, tangible assets activities for integrating, creating, trans-(Kaplan & Norton, 1996). Thus, in the ferring and applying IC can provide us-knowledge economy, organisations need ers with a more forward-looking view ofto manage their IC effectively, and to the firm (Ballow et al., 2004). Informa-leverage it for the benefit of their stake- tion on IC enables information users toholders. understand how the firm’s value is cre- ated or diminished, which in turn allowsThe TFR framework has been criticised them to better assess viability and thefor ignoring many strategic intangible ‘true’ value of the firm.
4 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25The ICR literature has thus developed in ternative approaches to reporting of so-an attempt to resolve some of the limita- cial and environmental issues in order totions of the TFR framework. This litera- account for the social and environmentalture provides a range of performance impacts that organisations have on soci-management, measurement and report- ety (Deegan, 2005). Within the CSRing frameworks. literature, a range of reporting ap- proaches has been developed which`Concurrently, CSR has been growing in seeks to incorporate a firm’s social andimportance owing to the increasing in- environmental performance as well as itsterest in the ‘sustainable development’ financial performance. The next sectionconcept, which is regarded as of this paper briefly discusses the gaps“development that meets the needs of in the existing literature and summarisesthe present without compromising the the objectives of this paper.ability of future generations to meet theirown needs” (WCED 1987, p. 43). For For the purposes of this paper, the Aus-example, the issue of climate change and tralian Food and Beverage Industryglobal warming is being recognised by (AFBI) is used to illustrate the processbusiness leaders as one of the most im- of identifying and incorporating indus-portant issues they face. At the 2000 try-specific indicators into the EPRWorld Economic forum in Davos, Swit- framework.zerland, business leaders from aroundthe world overwhelmingly voted climatechange as the most significant issue fac- DEVELOPMENT OF THE EPRing twenty-first century business FRAMEWORK(Deegan, 2005). The development of the industry-The movement towards sustainable de- specific EPR framework involved threevelopment has given rise to the criticism major steps. The first step involved inte-that the TFR framework gives an incom- grating reporting frameworks from theplete account of business activities ICR literature and the CSR literature.(Elkington, 1997; Gray et al., 1993; The second step involved identifyingGray et al., 1996; Mathews, 1997) as it industry-specific items relevant to theprecludes information about an entity’s AFBI. The third step involved summa-social and environmental activities. Tra- rising and refining the final industry-ditional financial accounting has treated specific EPR framework. These devel-environmental goods (for example, air opment steps are outlined in Figure 1.and water) as being in infinite supply This is followed by a detailed explana-and free, with the consequence that the tion of each step.use or abuse of the environment is notreflected in accounting performance in-dicators such as ‘profits’. Additionally, 3.1 Framework Integrationtraditional financial accounting ignoresmany social costs that an entity might The first step involved integratinghave imposed upon the community frameworks from the ICR and CSR lit-within which it operates. It has been ar- eratures into an EPR framework. Stepgued that there is a need to develop al- 1.1 involved the selection of an ICR
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 5 Figure 1. Process for developing the industry-specific EPR framework Step 1: The Integration of frameworks from the ICR and CSR literature 1.1 Selection of an ICR framework. 1.2 Selection of CSR framework. 1.3 Integration of the two frameworks to form a combined EPR framework Step 2: The Identification of industry-specific items 2.1 Review of publicly available reports from various AFBI associations, councils and government. 2.2 Review of available industry-specific indicators by a sustainability ranking or- ganization. 2.3 Review of publicly available reports of companies within the food and beverage industry that have been internationally recognised for ‘best practice’ in sustain- ability reporting Step 3: Development of final industry-specific EPR framework 3.1 Integrate industry-specific indicators into the draft disclosure instrument. 3.2 Summarise and refine and remove duplications. 3.3 Make appropriate adjustments and finalise the industry-specific EPR frameworkframework. Several previous studies (2000) framework has since been usedhave employed various ICR frameworks by several studies conducting researchin an attempt to assess and explain dif- into the reporting of IC information inferences in the amount of information annual reports (see, for instance, April etdisclosed in company annual reports, the al., 2003; Brennan, 2001; Bozzolan etmost popular of which have been vari- al., 2003).ous modified versions of the IntangibleAsset Monitor (for example, Brennan, Guthrie et al. (2004) later re-modified2001; Guthrie et al., 1999; Guthrie & the Guthrie & Petty (2000) frameworkPetty, 2000; Guthrie et al., 2004; Guthrie which was derived from Sveiby (1997,& Ricceri, 2004). pp. 8–11) and integrated several profes- sional pronouncements on ICR (seeIn Australian studies, using the Intangi- IFAC 1998) to produce a slightly modi-ble Asset Monitor framework, Guthrie et fied structure. The framework is pro-al. (1999) and Guthrie & Petty (2000) vided in Table 1.examined how companies reported theirIC. They conducted content analyses of The framework is composed of threethe annual reports of the top 19 compa- main parts or dimensions: internal capi-nies (in terms of market capitalisation) tal, external capital, and human capital.and one Australian ‘best practice’ com- Internal capital includes the systems,pany in ICR. The Guthrie & Petty policies, culture and other
6 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Table 1: ICR Framework 1. INTERNAL CAPITAL 2. EXTERNAL CAPITAL 3. HUMAN CAPITAL1. Intellectual property 7. Brands 14. Employees2. Management philosophy 8. Customers 15. Education3. Corporate culture 9. Customer satisfaction 16. Training4. Management processes 10. Company names 17. Work-related knowledge5. Information/networking 11. Distribution channels 18. Entrepreneurial spirit systems6. Financial relations 12. Business collaborations 13. Licensing agreementsSource: Guthrie et al. (2004, p. 286)‘organisational capabilities’ developed velop and disseminate globally applica-to meet market requirements. External ble Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.capital covers the connections that peo- The GRI was launched in 1997 as a jointple outside the organisation have with it, venture between the US non-governmentand human capital includes the know- organisation Coalition for Environmen-how, capabilities, skills, and expertise of tally Responsible Economies and thethe employees. United Nations Environment Program, with the goal of enhancing the quality,The ICR framework provided by Guth- rigour, and utility of sustainability re-rie et al. (2004) is chosen as a starting porting. The initiative has had the activepoint in the development of the EPR support and engagement of representa-framework. tives from business, non-profit advocacy groups, accounting bodies, investor or-Step 1.2 of the development of the EPR ganisations, trade unions, and manyframework involved the selection of a more. Together, these different constitu-CSR framework. Several CSR frame- encies have worked to build a consensusworks have been released by govern- around a set of reporting guidelines withments and industry bodies throughout the aim of achieving worldwide accep-the world. One source of reporting guid- tance.ance that has assumed a dominant posi-tion in the CSR domain is the Global The guidelines are for voluntary use byReporting Initiative’s (GRI) organisations for reporting on the eco-‘Sustainability Reporting Guidelines’ nomic, environmental and social dimen-(GRI, 2002). The GRI released its first sions of their activities, products andversion of its Sustainability Reporting services. The aim of the guidelines is toGuidelines in June 2000 and launched its assist reporting organisations and theirmodified version in 2002. The GRI is a stakeholders in articulating and under-long-term, multi-stakeholder, interna- standing contributions of the reportingtional process whose mission is to de- organisations to sustainable develop-
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 7ment. 1127).Major criticisms of the guidelines are The GRI (2002) consists of 97 separatethat they do not address IC items indicators. Fifty are designated ‘core’(ICAEW) and the indicators they pro- indicators and are deemed to be of rele-vide are too broad and need to be indus- vance to most organisations. The re-try-specific (GRI, 2002). Nonetheless, maining 47 indicators are deemed to bemany organisations are using the GRI additional, and therefore only expectedGuidelines as the basis for their CSR, to be used when indicated by the charac-and various industry codes that require teristics of the organisation. Examplesperiodic reporting also refer signatories of indicators are provided in Table 2.to the GRI Guidelines (Deegan, 2005, p. Table 2: Sustainability Reporting Guidelines categories of indicatorsCategory Element Examples of indicatorsGeneral CSR strategies, Organisation’s objectives and actions on CSR management & sys- issues tems Organisational pro- Major products including brands file Governance Percentage of directors that are independent Stakeholder engage- Approaches to stakeholder consultation mentEconomic Customers Market sharePerform- Suppliers Cost of goods, materials and services purchasesance Employees Total payroll and benefits broken down by country or region Providers of capital Increase/decrease in retained earnings at end of period Public sector Total sum of all taxes of all types paid broken down by countryEnviron- Materials Total materials used other than water by typemental Per- Energy Direct energy use segmented by primary sourceformance Water Total water use Biodiversity Location and size of land owned, leased, or managed in biodiversity-rich habitats Emissions, effluents Quantity of greenhouse gas emissions and waste Products and ser- Significant environmental impacts of principal vices products and services Compliance Incidence of fines for non-compliance with all applicable international environmental regula- tions
8 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Table 2 (Continued)Social Per- Employment Breakdown of workforce by region/country,formance: status, employment type and employment con-Labour tractPractices Labour/ Percentage of employees represented by inde-and Decent Management rela- pendent trade unionsWork tions Health and safety Practice on recording and notification of occu- pational accidents and diseases Training and educa- Average hours of training per year per employee tion by category of employee Diversity and op- Description of equal opportunity policies or pro- portunity grams as well as monitoring systemsSocial Per- Strategy and man- Description of policies, guidelines, corporateformance: agement structure and procedures to deal with all aspectsHuman of human rights relevant to operationsRights Non-discrimination Description of global policy and procedures pre- venting all forms of discrimination Freedom of associa- Description of freedom of association policy and tion and collective extent to which this policy is universally applied bargaining as well as description of procedures to address the issue Child labour Description of policy excluding child labour as defined by the ILO convention 138 Forced and compul- Description of policy and procedures to prevent sory labour forced and compulsory labour and extent to which this policy is visibly stated and appliedSocial Per- Community Description of policies and procedures to man-formance: age impacts on communities in areas affected bySociety activities Bribery and corrup- Description of the policy, procedures/ tion management systems and compliance mecha- nisms for organisations and employees address- ing bribery and corruption Political contribu- Description of the policy, procedures/ tions management systems and compliance mecha- nisms for managing political lobbying and con- tributionsSocial Per- Customer health and Description of policy, procedures and monitor-formance: safety ing systems for preserving customer health andProduct safety during use of products and servicesResponsi-bility
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 9 Table 2 (Continued) Products and ser- Description of the policy, proce- vices dures/management systems and com- pliance mechanisms related to prod- uct information and labelling Respect for privacy Description of the policy, proce- dures/management systems and com- pliance mechanisms for consumer privacyFrom Table 2, the elements and indica- frameworks selected in steps 1.1 andtors are grouped under three major cate- 1.2. A mapping of the categories fromgories: economic, environmental and the original frameworks to the new EPRsocial performance. combined framework is provided in Fig- ure 2.While it is acknowledged that there is noconceptual framework for CSR, the From Figure 2, the three dimensions inGRI’s (2002) Guidelines have assumed the combined EPR disclosure instrumenta dominant position and thus the GRI follow the contemporary classification(2002) Guidelines are chosen for incor- scheme for intangibles derived fromporation into the EPR framework. Sveiby’s (1997) ICR framework: inter- nal capital, external capital, and humanStep 1.3 in the development of the EPR capital.framework involved combining the Figure 2: Process for combining the ICR and CSR frameworks ICR FRAMEWORK COMBINED (EPR) FRAMEWORK CSR FRAMEWORKInternal Capital Internal Capital GeneralIntellectual property Intellectual propertyInfrastructure capital Infrastructure capital Economic performanceExternal Capital External Capital Environmental performanceCustomers CustomersOther stakeholders Other stakeholders Social performance Environment Labour practices and decent WorkHuman Capital Social Human rightsEmployee competence Product responsibility Society Product responsibility Human Capital Employee competence Labour practices and decent Work Human rightsThe ‘environmental performance’, mension. The ‘labour practices and de-‘society’ and ‘product responsibility’ cent work’ and ‘human rights’ catego-categories from the GRI (2002) were ries from the GRI (2002) were collapsedincluded within the external capital di- into the human capital dimension.
10 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25This resulted in three main dimensions, holders. The economic indicators fromnamely, internal capital, external capital the GRI (2002) were excluded, as theand human capital. Internal capital in- area of interest is voluntary disclosure ofcludes two categories: ‘intellectual prop- EPR items.erty’ and ‘infrastructure capital’. Exter-nal capital includes five categories: The EPR framework, after combining‘customers’, ‘other stakeholders’, the two frameworks from the ICR and‘environment’, ‘social’ and ‘product re- CSR literatures, is provided in Table 3.sponsibility’. Human capital includesthree categories: ‘employee compe- The EPR framework has three dimen-tence’, ‘labour practices and decent sions: internal capital, external capitalwork’ and ‘human rights’. and human capital; and ten categories: intellectual property, infrastructure capi-Only the ‘core’ indicators from the GRI tal, customers, other stakeholders, envi-(2002) were included in the combined ronmental performance, social, productEPR framework. Core indicators are responsibility, employee competence,those relevant to most reporting organi- labour practices and decent work, andsations and of interest to most stake- human rights. Table 3: The Extended Performance Reporting frameworkINTERNAL CAPITAL EXTERNAL CAPITAL HUMAN CAPITALIntellectual Property Customers Employee Competence Brands EmployeesInfrastructure Capital Customers EducationManagement philosophy Customer satisfaction TrainingCorporate culture Company names Work-related knowledgeManagement processes Distribution channels Entrepreneurial spiritInformation/networking systemsFinancial relations Other Stakeholders Labour Practices and Decent Work Business collaborations Employment Licensing agreements Labour/management relations Health and safety Environmental Performance Diversity and opportunity Materials Energy Human Rights Water Strategy and management of human rights Biodiversity Non-discrimination Emissions, effluents and waste Freedom of assoc. & collective bargaining Products and services Child labour Compliance Forced and compulsory labour Society Community Bribery and corruption Political contributions Product responsibility Customer health and safety Products and services Respect for privacy
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 113.2 Industry Specificity and Customi- leases from various industry associa- sation tions, councils and government bodies. These included sources such as the Aus-The second step in the development of tralian Food and Grocery Councilthe EPR framework involved supple- (AFGC), the Alcohol and Other Drugsmenting the combined EPR framework Council of Australia (AODCA), Theas provided in Table 3 with industry- Department of Agriculture, Fisheriesspecific items. and Forestry (DAFF) and New South Wales Agriculture. A summary of theAs the focus of the research is on the items identified are provided in Table 4.provision of information on EPR per-formance, the selection of industry- Source 2: Sustainability ranking organi-specific issues was based on this con- sationscept. The three major sources of indus-try-specific information included: As demonstrated in Figure 1, step 2.2 in the process of developing the custom-• publicly available reports from vari- ised EPR framework involved the re- ous AFBI associations, councils and view of several sustainability ranking government bodies; bodies to identify any industry-specific• industry-specific indicators identi- indicators for the AFBI. The findings fied by well recognised sustainabil- from this review were that, although a ity ranking organisations; and need for industry-specific indicators is• publicly available reports of compa- generally acknowledged, with the excep- nies within the food and beverage tion of RepuTex, there was a lack of in- industry that have been internation- dustry-specific indicators relating to the ally recognised for best practice in AFBI provided by sustainability ranking sustainability reporting. bodies.The processes used to obtain the indus- The RepuTex Social Responsibility Rat-try-specific information from each of the ing is an assessment of the extent tothree major sources are discussed sepa- which an organisation is performing in arately below. socially responsible manner in terms of its corporate governance, environmentalSource 1: AFBI associations, councils impact, social impact and workplaceand government bodies practices. RepuTex criteria are divided into three bands. Band one comprisesAs demonstrated in Figure 1, step 2.1 in general (global) criteria. These broadlythe process of developing the custom- defined criteria remain consistent acrossised EPR framework consisted of con- all industries. Band two comprises re-ducting a review of the significant and gional (local) criteria, and band threeimportant EPR issues and challenges comprises sector and industry-specificfacing the AFBI. This involved the ex- criteria (RepuTex website, accessed 1stamination of annual reports and other November 2004).publicly available information such asenvironmental and social reports, web- The focus of this study is on band threesites, government reports and media re- which comprises sector-specific criteria.
12 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Table 4: Summary of Industry-specific issues identified from a review of AFBI associations, councils and government bodiesIndustry-specific Issue Example IndicatorsFood safety • Quality controls on food safetyObesity and diet-related disease • Healthy product options (e.g. reduced energy, reduced fat, reduced salt, high fibre) • Energy and nutritional labelling on food and beverage packagingGenetically modified food • Use of GM ingredients • Regulatory compliance of GM products • Labels on food containing GM ingredi- entsEnvironmental policy and • Environmental policy and managementmanagement strategies strategies • Use of eco-efficiency indicators • Environmental audits, processes and reportingWater and waste water • Quantity of water usedDischarges • Quantity of water discharged • Waste discharge management (organic and chemical pollutants)Greenhouse gas emissions • Energy consumption • Form of energy used • Emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide)Packaging • Reduced weight of packaging • Recycling and recovery of packagingSolid waste and recycling • Quantity of solid waste • Recycling of solid wasteAlcohol abuse • Low-alcohol content product optionsResponsible advertising and promo- • Responsible advertising and promotiontion of products of products • Engagement in consumer educationAlcohol labelling • Accurate labelling of alcohol content and health warningsAnimal welfare • The humane use and care of animalsLivestock and crop exotic disease • Livestock identification systemcontrols • Bio-security systems • Other disease and pest controlsNatural resource management and • Programs to prevent soil salinity andbiodiversity acidity • Tree planting
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 13The industry-specific criteria identified Included in the Top 50 reports are sevenby RepuTex for the AFBI included: best practice companies from the food and beverage industry. These include• The organisation assists consumers South African Breweries, Kirin Brew- to make informed purchasing deci- ery, Chiquita, Kesko, Unilever, TESCO sions. and Danone (UNEP 2002, p. 39). The• Where relevant, the organisation is a annual reports and other publicly avail- signatory to environmental cove- able reports (that is, environmental and nants. social reports) were examined for each• The organisation complies with of these companies to offer insights into publicly available codes and guide- ‘best practice’ in EPR. The reports were lines governing responsible promo- specifically examined for items that are tion of its products. considered to be significant and impor-• The organisation demonstrates a tant to the food and beverage industry. commitment to best practice meth- A list of the items identified from this ods of quality control for all prod- review is provided in Table 6. ucts, services and distribution sys- tems. 3.3 Development of the final industry-RepuTex identified examples of indica- specific EPR frameworktors that may be considered to meetthese criteria. A summary of the criteria The third and final step in the develop-and the example indicators are provided ment of the industry-specific EPRin Table 5. framework involved the integration of the industry-specific issues identifiedSource 3: Internationally recognised from all three information sources into‘best practice’ companies in sustainabil- the EPR framework. This required col-ity reporting lating, summarising and refining the list of items into a final customised industry-As provided in Figure 1, step 2.3 in the specific EPR framework. This involvedprocess of developing the customised the collapsing of some categories, theEPR framework involved the examina- combining of some items and the elimi-tion of publicly available reports of com- nation of duplicated items.panies within the food and beverage in-dustry that have been internationally The integration of the industry-specificrecognised for ‘best practice’ in sustain- issues into categories and elements ofability reporting. ‘Trust Us’, produced the industry-specific EPR framework isin 2002, is an international benchmark illustrated in Appendix A. The industry-survey produced by SustainAbility for specific issues were summarised bythe United Nations Environment Pro- eliminating duplicated items and com-gram (UNEP, 2002). It identified the bining some similar items. In some casestop 50 reports from around the world new elements were created to accommo-(the ‘Top 50’). These reports are re- date the industry-specific issues. Forgarded as ‘best practice’ in sustainability example, new elements were created forreporting. food safety, customer health and well- being, responsible marketing, packaging
14 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Table 5: RepuTex Social Responsibility Ratings Sector Specific Criteria and Indicators for the Food and Beverage IndustryCriteria Examples of Indicatorsa. The organisation assists con- • The provision of information relating to:sumers to make informed purchas- • accurate labelling of sources;ing decisions • accurate labelling of content; and • disclosure of genetically modified content and regulatory complianceb. Where relevant, the organisation • Demonstrated participation in appropriateis a signatory to environmental environmental codes and covenantscovenantsc. The organisation complies with • Evidence that the organisation is a signa-publicly available codes and tory to relevant codesguidelines governing responsible • Demonstration of the use of strategies topromotion of its products mitigate the potential negative impacts of products • Demonstrated engagement in consumer education • Processes to mitigate potential negative impacts of products • Alteration of product range to improve con- sumer choice • Involvement of companies in awareness raising for potential negative impacts of productsd. The organisation demonstrates a • The adoption and maintenance of recog-commitment to best practice meth- nised quality control standards relating toods of quality control for all prod- food safetyucts, services and distribution sys- • The adoption and maintenance of recog-tems nised quality control standards relating to other emerging requirements such as assur- ances on environmental management • Animal welfare • Full traceability throughout the supply chainSource: RepuTex website (accessed 1st November 2004)management, supply chain management example, the element ‘food safety’ wasand animal welfare. broken down into the sub-elements ‘product safety and quality controls onIn some cases where an element was food safety’, ‘supply chain managementregarded to be of significant importance and value chain’, and ‘livestock andto the AFBI, the element was further crop exotic diseases and pest control’.broken down into sub-elements. For This further dissection more appropri-
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 15 Table 6: EPR items identified by ‘best practice’ companiesIssue EPR CategoryEnvironmental awards EnvironmentEnvironmental programs EnvironmentEnergy reduction targets EnvironmentRenewable energy EnvironmentWaste water purification EnvironmentRecycling waste water EnvironmentPreservation of water sources EnvironmentPrograms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions EnvironmentLighter packaging EnvironmentSolid waste EnvironmentHazardous and non-hazardous waste EnvironmentRecycling waste EnvironmentAnimal welfare SocialAnimal testing SocialFood safety Product responsibilityHealth supplements Product responsibilityReduced fats and sugar content Product responsibilityHealthy product options Product responsibilityInnovative products and consumer choice Product responsibilityFood allergies and intolerances Product responsibilityOrganics Product responsibilityUse of fertilisers, chemicals and pesticides Product responsibilityCultural considerations Product responsibilityGenetically modified foods Product responsibilityNutritional labelling Product responsibilityResponsible advertising and marketing Product responsibilityately reflects the importance of product the mapping of the categories from theresponsibility for the AFBI. The results ICR and CSR frameworks, as well as theare provided in Table 7 which summa- integration of the industry-specific ele-rises the industry-specific issues into 17 ments from Table 7.elements and 17 sub-elements. The final customised framework, afterIt is possible to develop a customised integrating the industry-specific issues,EPR framework for the AFBI by incor- is provided in Appendix A. It consistsporating the industry-specific issues pro- of 52 elements classified under threevided in Table 7 into the EPR frame- dimensions and ten categories.work. Figure 4 presents a summary of
16 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Table 7: Summary of industry-specific issuesCategory Element Sub-element (where relevant)Environment Environment policy and management strategies Environmental compliance Environmental awards Environmental programs Materials Energy Water Biodiversity Emissions Effluents Waste Packaging management of environmental issuesSocial Product Animal WelfareResponsibility Food safety Product safety and quality controls on food safety Supply chain management and value chain Livestock and crop exotic disease and pest control Customer health and well- Variety of products for consumer choice being Healthy and low-far product options Energy and nutritional labeling Food allergies and intolerances Cultural considerations Use of GM ingredients Health Supplements and nutrition and benefits Organics Accurate labeling of sources of ingredients Use of fertilizers, chemicals and pesticides Low-alcohol content product options Appropriate labeling of alcohol products Responsible marketing Responsible promotion of products, en- gagement in consumer education, aware- ness raising of potential negative impacts of products of products Signatory to codes and guidelines on re- sponsible promotion of products4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ing on both fronts. However, this has taken many and varied forms. In relationIn light of the growing need for corpora- to CSR, ‘corporate social responsibilitytions to disclose the extent to which they reports’ and ‘triple-bottom line state-are discharging their CSR and managing ments’ are produced by many companiestheir IC, there has been increased report- while others provide supplementary
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 17 Figure 4: Mapping of categories to the EPR framework INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL CORPORATE SOCIAL- FRAMEWORK COMBINED FRAMEWORK RESPONSIBILITY FRAMEWORKInternal Capital Internal Capital GeneralIntellectual property Intellectual propertyInfrastructure capital Infrastructure capital Economic PerformanceExternal Capital External Capital Environmental PerformanceCustomers CustomersOther stakeholders Other stakeholders Social Performance Environment Labour practices and decent workHuman Capital Social Human rightsEmployee competence Product responsibility Society Product responsibility Human Capital Employee competence Labour practices and decent work Human rights INDUSTRY SPECIFIC ITEMS Environment Social Product Responsibilityqualitative and quantitative information should take an integrated perspective. Aswithin their annual reports. However, at outlined in this paper, both CSR and ICthis stage, popular CSR reporting frame- are focused on ameliorating argued defi-works such as the GRI reporting frame- ciencies in TFR; namely, the ability towork, remain voluntary, and govern- disclose a complete picture of a firm’sments have avoided the mandating of activities and its true value. In addition,triple-bottom line reporting. Similarly, in however, there is convergence betweenrelation to IC, ICR is prevalent in Scan- IC and CSR concerns, with both CSRdinavia but is less so outside this region. and IC interested in issues of sustainabil-Although studies that find performance ity (Cuganesan, 2006). IC focuses morebenefits for better disclosers (for exam- on the sustainability of future economicple, Linstock Consultants, 2004; Petty & cash flows through innovation andCuganesan, 2005) support arguments for knowledge flows, while CSR empha-voluntary disclosure regimes, the hetero- sises questions of the environment, soci-geneity in current disclosure practices ety and broader stakeholder groups. Thissuggests that greater consistency in re- overlap strengthens the case for integra-porting practice is required if compara- tion in reporting on these aspects of or-bility across organisations is to be at- ganisational performance, an agenda thattained. As such, the development and this paper seeks to take on and addresstesting of frameworks for the reporting through the development of an EPR.of IC and CSR is required. Finally, addressing industry specificityImportantly, this paper argues that any and customising EPR to particular in-frameworks for reporting IC and CSR dustry sectors is paramount. A growing
18 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25trend among industry associations and _________ (2004), Annual Report 2003-organisations working towards enhanced 04, ACT.corporate reporting is the acknowledg- April, KA., Bosma, P. & Deglon, D.ment that generic reporting frameworks (2003) “Intellectual capitalprovide little benefit. Indeed, as reported measurement and reporting: Es-by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI tablishing a practice in South2002, p. 10) in their 2002 Sustainability African mining” Journal of Intel-Guidelines, “The GRI recognises the lectual Capital, Vol. 4, No. 2,limits of a one-size-fits-all approach and pp. 165-180.the importance of capturing the unique Australian Federal Government websiteset of issues faced by different industry 2004 “Australian health minis-sectors.” The process developed by this ters endorse childhood obesitypaper in developing a customised EPR initiatives”, viewed on 1st No-for the AFBI represents a novel attempt v e m b e r , h t t p : / /and a first attempt at achieving the ob- www.health.gov.aujective of industry relevant corporate Australian Food and Grocery Councilreporting of both CSR and IC. Future (AFGC) 2001, Environment Re-research avenues include the application port 2001, ACT.of the process described to other indus- _________ 2003, Environment Reporttries and its ongoing refinement. 2003, ACT. _________ 2003, Annual Report 2003,This paper attempts to address two ma- ACT.jor limitations of the TFR framework, _________ 2003, “Submission to Envi-that is, that it provides an incomplete ronment Protection Authoritypicture of a firm’s value and an incom- New South Wales in response toplete account of a firm’s business activi- Extended Producer Responsibil-ties. It argues that there are benefits in ity Consultation Paper”, April,combining reporting frameworks from Sydney.two literatures, that is ICR and CSR lit- _________ media release 2004, “Fooderatures, into an integrated EPR frame- industry welcomes $116m obe-work. Further, this paper argues the sity commitment”, 29th June,benefits of incorporating industry- Sydney.specific variables into the EPR frame- _________ media release 2004, “Newwork. The process for developing an environment report reveals sur-industry-specific EPR framework is then prising findings”, Sydney, 16thdescribed using the AFBI as an example. February. _________ website 2004, viewed on 1st November 2004, <http://References www.afgc.org.au Australian Institute of Health and Wel-Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of fare (AIHW) (1999) 1998, Australia (AODCA) (2003) “National Drug Strategy House- “Alcohol advertising and promo- hold Survey: First Results”, Can- tion”, submission to NSW Alco- berra. hol Summit. _________ (AIHW) (2002) 2001, “National Drug Strategy House-
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 19 hold Survey: First Results”, Can- capital or stakeholder perspec- berra. tives”, Journal of Human Re-________ Media Release 1999, “Drugs source Costing and Accounting, – Where are the biggest prob- Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.164-188. lems?”, Canberra, 26th March. Deegan, C. (2005) Australian FinancialAustralia New Zealand Food Authority Accounting. Roseville:Irwin/ (ANZFA) 2000, “GM foods and McGraw-Hill. the consumer – ANZFA’s safety Department of Agriculture, Fisheries assessment process for geneti- and Forestry (DAFF) website cally modified foods”, ANZFA 2004, viewed on 1st November occasional paper series no.1, 2004, <http://www.affa.gov.au Canberra. Department of Environment and Heri-Ballow, J., Burgman, R., Roos, G. & tage (DEH) 1999, “A Frame- Molnar, M. (2004) “A new para- work for Voluntary Public Envi- digm for managing shareholder ronmental Reporting: An Austra- value” Accenture, Institute for lian Approach”, Canberra. high performance business. _________ 2003a, “Indicators andBozzolan, S., Favotto, F. & Ricceri, F. Methodologies for Public Envi- (2003) “Italian annual intellec- ronmental Reporting”, Canberra. tual capital disclosure: An em- _________ 2003b, “Triple Bottom Line pirical analysis”, Journal of In- Reporting in Australia – A Guide tellectual Capital, Vol. 4, No.4, to Reporting Against Environ- pp. 543-558. mental Indicators”, Canberra.Brennan, N. (2001) “Reporting intellec- _________ 2003c, “Corporate Sustain- tual capital in annual reports: ability: An Investor Perspective Evidence from Ireland”, Ac- – The Mays Report”, Canberra. counting, Auditing & Account- Department of Health and Aged Care ability Journal, Vol. 14, No. 4, (DHAC) 2001, “Alcohol in Aus- pp. 423-436. tralia: Issues and Strategies”,________ & Connell, B. (2000) background paper to the National “Intellectual Capital: Current Alcohol Strategy: A Plan for Ac- Issues and Policy Implications”, tion 2001 to 2003/04, Common- paper presented at the 23rd An- wealth of Australia, Canberra. nual Congress of the European _________ 2000, Submission to the Accounting Association, Munich, House of Representatives Stand- 29-31 March 2000. ing Committee on Family andCarroll, RF. & Tansey, RR. (2000) Community Affairs Inquiry into “Intellectual capital in the new Substance Abuse in Australian internet economy: Its meaning, Communities, Canberra. measurement and management Elkington, J. (1997) Cannibals with for enhancing quality”, Journal Forks. United Kingdom: Cap- of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 1, stone Publishing Ltd. No. 4, pp. 296-311. Environment Accounting Task ForceCuganesan, S. (2006) “Reporting organ- 1996, “Corporate Reporting – isational performance in manag- The Green Gap”, The Institute of ing human resources: Intellectual
20 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Chartered Accountants, Group 100 (2003) “Sustainability: A www.ica.com.au. guide to triple bottom line re-Environment Australia 2000, “Public porting”, An Association of Aus- Environmental Reporting: An tralia’s senior Finance Execu- Australian Approach”, Environ- tives from the nation’s business ment Australia, Canberra: 2000. enterprises, Melbourne.Environment Protection Authority Guthrie, J. (1983) “Corporate social ac- (EPA) 1997, “Corporate Envi- counting and reporting: An Aus- ronmental Reporting: Why and tralian empirical study”, paper How”, NSW Environment Pro- presented to AAANZ Conference, tection Authority, Chatswood. Brisbane, Australia.Food Management 2000, “The coming ________ (1999) “Theres no accounting diabetic epidemic”, December, for knowledge in the Australian Vol. 35, Issue 12, p. 18. context”, paper for Workshop on________ 2001, “Obesity hits #1 on Accounting for Intangibles and health woes scale”, August, Vol. the Virtual Organisation, Brus- 36, Issue 8, p. 16. sels, February 12-13.Food Standards Australia New Zealand ________ (2000) “Measuring up to (FSANZ) website 2004, viewed change”, Financial Management, 1st November 2004, <http:// December, p.11. www.foodstandards.gov.au. ________ (2001) “The management,Global Industry Classification Standard measurement and the reporting (GICS) 2002. of intellectual capital”, JournalGlobal Reporting Initiative (GRI) 2002, of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 2, ‘Sustainability Reporting Guide- No.1, pp. 27-41. lines’, GRI, London. ________ & Petty, R. (2000)_______ website 2005, viewed 1st “Intellectual capital: Australian March, <http://www.gri.com> annual reporting practices”,Gray, R., Bebbington, J. & Walters, D. Journal of Intellectual Capital, (1993) Accounting for the Envi- Vol. 1, Nos. 2 and 3, pp. 241–51. ronment. London: Paul Chap- ________, _______, Ferrier, F. & Wells, man. R. (1999) “There is no account-______, Owen, D. & Adams, C. (1996) ing for intellectual capital in Accounting and Accountability: Australia: A review of annual Changes and Challenges in Cor- reporting practices and the inter- porate Social and Environmental nal measurement of intangibles Reporting. London: Prentice- within Australian organisations”, Hall. paper presented at the Interna-_______, ________ & Maunders, K. tional Symposium Measuring (1987) “Corporate social report- and Reporting Intellectual Capi- ing: Emerging trends in account- tal: Experiences, Issues, and ability and the social contract”, Prospects, Amsterdam: OECD, Accounting, Auditing and Ac- June. countability, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 6- ________, ________ & Johanson, U. 20. (2001) “Sunrise in the knowl- edge economy: Managing, meas-
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 21 uring and reporting intellectual tion of Accountants, New York. capital”, Accounting, Auditing Kaplan, RS. & Norton, DP. (1996) and Accountability Journal, Translating Strategy into Action: Vol.14, No.4, pp. 365-82. The Balanced Scorecard. USA:________, ________ & Ricceri, F. The President and Fellows of (2003) “External Intellectual Harvard College. Capital Reporting: A Hong Kong Mathews, MR. (1997) “Twenty-five and Australia Sample”, Research years of social and environ- Monograph, The Institute of mental accounting research: Is Chartered Accountants of Scot- there a silver jubilee to cele- land. brate?”, Accounting, Auditing________, ________ & _______ and Accountability Journal, Vol. (2005) “Intellectual Capital Re- 10, No. 4. porting and a User Perspective: Mouritsen (2004) "Measuring and inter- Contemporary Investigations vening: how do we theorise in- into Australia and Hong Kong”, tellectual capital management?", Research Monograph, The Insti- Journal of Intellectual Capital, tute of Chartered Accountants of Vol. 5 No. 2, 2004, pp. 257-267 Scotland. New South Wales Agriculture 2004,________, ________, Yongvanich, K., Annual Report, Sydney. & Ricceri, F (2004) “Using con- Petty, R., & Cuganesan, S. (2005) tent analysis as a research “Voluntary Disclosure of Intel- method to inquire into intellec- lectual Capital By Hong Kong tual capital reporting”, Journal Companies: Examining Size, of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 5, Industry And Growth Effects No. 2, pp. 282-93. Over Time”, Australian Account-________, & Ricceri, F. (2002) “KM ing Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. Australia building and improving 40. on knowledge management ini- ________ & Guthrie, J. (2000) tiative for commercial profi- “Intellectual capital literature ciency”, case study, Merchant review: Measurement, reporting Court Hotel, Sydney. and management”, Journal ofHope, J. & Hope, T. (1998) Competing Intellectual Capital, Vol.1, No. in the Third Wave: The Ten Key 2, pp. 155 - 176. Management Issues of the Infor- RepuTex website 2004, ‘RepuTex So- mation Age. Boston: Harvard cial Responsibility Ratings Crite- Business School. ria and Indicators’, viewed 1stInstitute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) November 2004, <http:// 1996, “Corporate Reporting: The www.reputex.com.au. Green Gap”, website viewed on Roslender, R., & Fincham, R (2001) 1 November 2004; <http: “Thinking critically about intel- www.ICA.com.au. lectual accounting”, Accounting,International Federation of Accountants Auditing & Accountability Jour- (IFAC) 1998, “The measurement nal, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 383-98. and management of intellectual Sustainability, 2003, ‘Trust Us: The capital”, International Federa- Global Reporters 2002 Survey of
22 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 Corporate Sustainability Report- survey”, UNEP – SustainAbility ing’, UNEP. Ltd, London.Sveiby, K. E. (1997) “The intangible World Commission on Environment and asset monitor”, Journal of Hu- Development (WCED) (1987) man Resource Costing and Ac- “Our Common Future (The counting, Vol. 2, No. 1. Brundtland Report)”, OxfordUnited Nations Environmental Program University Press. (UNEP) (1992) “The Benchmark
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 23Appendix A – The Extended Performance Reporting Framework for the Austra- lian Food and Beverage Industry Dimension/Category/Element Sub-element (where relevant)INTERNAL CAPITALIntellectual PropertyInfrastructure capitalManagement philosophy, strategy and visionCorporate cultureManagement system and processesInformation systemsNetworking systemsFinancial relationsEXTERNAL CAPITALCustomersBrandsCustomer relationships/satisfactionCustomer loyaltyCompany namesDistribution channelsMarket shareOther StakeholdersStakeholder engagementBusiness collaborations/strategic alliancesLicensing and franchising agreements, joint ven-tures & mergersFavourable contractsSupply chain managementEnvironmentEnvironmental policy and management strategiesEnvironmental complianceEnvironmental awardsEnvironmental programsMaterialsEnergyWaterBiodiversityEmissionsEffluentsWastePackaging managementSupply chain management of environmental issues
24 J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25SocialCSR policies, management and systemsCSR committeeCommunity programs, initiatives and spon-sorshipsBribery and corruptionPolitical contributionsAnimal welfareRespect for privacyProduct responsibilityFood safety Product safety & quality controls on food safety Supply chain management and value chain Livestock and crop exotic diseases and pest controlCustomer health and wellbeing Variety of products for consumer choice Healthy and low fat product options Energy and nutritional labelling Food allergies and intolerances Cultural considerations Use of GM ingredients Health supplements & nutrition & benefits Organics Accurate labelling of sources of ingre- dients Use of fertilisers, chemicals & pesti- cides Low alcohol content product options Appropriate labelling of alcohol prod- uctsResponsible marketing Responsible promotion of products, engagement in consumer education, awareness raising of potential negative impacts of products Signatory to codes and guidelines on responsible promotion of products
J. Guthrie, S. Cuganesan, L. Ward / Issues in Social and Environmental Accounting 1 (2007) 1-25 25HUMAN CAPITALEmployee competenceWork-related knowledgeEducation and trainingEntrepreneurial spiritLabour Practices and Decent WorkEmploymentLabour/management relationsHealth and SafetyDiversity and opportunityHuman RightsStrategy and managementNon-discriminationFreedom of association and collective bargainingChild labourForced and compulsory labour
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