Social reporting and triple bottom line reporting – in for-profit and not-for-profit organisations.
Intellectual Property of Dr. Bruce D. Watson, DEd Melbourne and attributed authors as noted.
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Will Low and Eileen Davenport say,
Quote: “Social reporting is crucial for organisations claiming to practice corporate social responsibility. Reporting is essential for engaging with stakeholders, and establishing a dialogue that leads to mutual learning and action. (It is also a governance issue: by pursuing a reporting agenda, the organisation is
formalising the degree of transparency it is “comfortable” with in opening itself up to public scrutiny, and establishing certain rules of engagement.)
We contend that two approaches to social reporting are “competing” for acceptance: stand alone social reports based on the Social and Ethical Accounting, Auditing and Reporting standards (ISEA, 2001) and Triple Bottom Line Reporting (Elkington, 1997).
The triple bottom line refers to the organization’s economic, environmental and social impacts, and therefore social reporting and triple bottom lining are clearly not mutually exclusive. However, this paper argues that social and ethical accounting, auditing and reportin g (SEAAR) as it is being practiced by a number of companies is not simply a complement to triple bottom line reporting, but tends to be qualitatively different, being process driven, externally verified and requiring active, ongoing engagement with stakeholder groups.
This paper differentiates between social reporting and triple bottom line reporting. Using information and case studies from New Zealand, we contrast the limited use of social reporting in the corporate sector with its more extensive use in the not-for-profit sector. Finally, we outline how social reporting and TBLR are likely to move forward in parallel in New Zealand.
The tentative conclusion of this study is that social auditing will continue to be favoured by ‘valuesdriven’ organisations (both private and not-for-profit) and TBLR will continue to be favoured by mainstream companies.”
The mediating factor may be the role government must play in indirectly encouraging social reporting by organisations of all types and directly financially supporting developments in both social auditing and Triple Bottom Line Reporting.”