Irina Lock - room A34 - 13.30-15.00

Istituto di marketing e comunicazione aziendale

Data d'inizio: 17 Ottobre 2012

Data di fine: 18 Ottobre 2012

Analyzing investor-specific CSR reporting: Social and environmental risk communication

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability communication has gained momentum in the last decade in the corporate world. This is mainly due to constantly changing society expectations and pressure associated with NGOs and the media, to which companies feel obliged to respond (Schlegelmilch and Pollach, 2005; Coerwinkel, 2007). Furthermore, it is not only corporations that participate in this intensive public debate, but also the owners of the companies, hence the investors. In order to deepen the understanding of CSR reporting practices towards the stakeholder group investors, a quantitative content analysis of CSR reports in two industries in Germany and Switzerland was conducted. It was tested whether information reported in the CSR reports of Swiss and German companies in the chemicals and banking & insurance industry addressed the social and environmental risks these firms encountered in their specific sectors. Quantitative content analysis was applied to 437 articles of CSR reports from the chemicals and banking & insurance industry in Switzerland and Germany. The results were benchmarked to the sustainability rating of the Swiss private bank Sarasin. Its weighting of social and environmental industry risks were taken as an anchor for the study. It was found that the chemicals industry’s CSR reports meet the benchmark, whereas the firms in the banking & insurance industry do not (RQ1). Swiss chemicals producers perform well in reporting on their specific industry risks, while German companies mirror the sector-specific risks in the banking & insurance industry (RQ2). The results thus indicate the appropriateness of investor-specific reporting and suggest further standardization. Building upon the results of this study it is planned to broaden the scope of the research to multiple stakeholders, countries and industries.