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Voluntary Disclosures in Australian Corporate Sector

Question 3 (50 marks)
Report Writing on ‘Voluntary Disclosures in Australian Corporate Sector’ (Word length:  maximum 1 500 words and at least 5 references).
 
Select two Australian companies from the list below in the same industry, which are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and having voluntary disclosures made on ‘corporate social responsibility’ (i.e. sustainability reporting) of environmental, social and economic reporting (triple bottom line).

  1. Qantas
  2. Virgin Australia
  3. Origin
  4. Santos

Use Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) web-site for ‘GRI guidelines’ (G3 or G4). To have the recent and latest year-end 2013 or 2014 ‘sustainability reporting’ for each company, use company website or (GRI) web-site for the list of Australian companies providing sustainability report (http://www.globalreporting.org/network/regional-networks/gri-focal-points/focal-point-australia/Pages/default.aspx).
In your essay, critically discuss, analysis and evaluate environmental, social and economic reporting followed by each companies and whether consistent with the requirements of the GRI guidelines for the satisfaction of stakeholders to ensure accountability and transparency. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of their reporting and disclosure as well as major differences along with your recommendations to advise how to minimise voluntary reporting and disclosure gaps between them.
Do not attach a copy of the sustainability reporting. Instead, to verify provide the web address of both companies.
 
Specific and descriptive criteria to follow:
(1) There must be an introduction and conclusion section and references, if any, and website address of the selected companies where from sustainability reports are downloaded.
(2) There must be a brief discussion of the selected listed companies and their operating activities in the respective industry sector. Preferred sectors are mining, utilities, manufacturing etc. being sensitive to environmental and other social and economic reporting.
(3) Adequate discussion on environmental, social and economic disclosure in reference to respective GRI disclosure guidelines. A better understanding of concepts of voluntary disclosure as well as reporting is expected.
(4) There must be an analysis of reporting practices as in point (3) above whether GRI disclosure guidelines are properly followed or not. The strengths and weaknesses of reporting should be identified from the stakeholders’ perspective. In evaluating voluntary Triple Bottom Line (TBL) reporting practices, any relevant comment or recommendation should be taken into account.
(5) The reporting practices of both companies as in point (3) must be compared with a decision which company is in compliance with respective GRI disclosure guidelines than the other and why and how more compliance is achievable. In evaluating voluntary disclosure practices, any relevant comment or recommendation should be taken into account.
 
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