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Is Financial Information Influencing the Reporting on SDGs? Empirical Evidence from Central and Eastern European Chemical Companies

Elena Nechita (), Cristina Lidia Manea (), Mirela Nichita (), Alina-Mihaela Irimescu () and Diana Manea ()
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Elena Nechita: Department of Accounting and Auditing, Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Piața Romană 6, 1st District, 010374 Bucharest, Romania
Cristina Lidia Manea: Department of Accounting and Auditing, Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Piața Romană 6, 1st District, 010374 Bucharest, Romania
Alina-Mihaela Irimescu: Department of Accounting and Auditing, Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Piața Romană 6, 1st District, 010374 Bucharest, Romania
Diana Manea: Department of Accounting and Auditing, Faculty of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Piața Romană 6, 1st District, 010374 Bucharest, Romania

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 21, 1-34

Abstract: Since the adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) endorsed by United Nations in 2015, which envision an ambitious representation of what the world could look like in the upcoming years, companies have been employing different approaches to identify and report on their contributions to the SDGs, albeit facing various difficulties due to the goals’ novelty, legislative deficiencies, and the complexity of connections between SDGs and business performance. In this context, the relationship between sustainability practices and firms’ financial performance has attracted much attention among researchers. Consequently, this research is focusing on determining to what extent the financial indicators disclosed in the annual reports are impacting the quality of non-financial reporting based on SDGs in the case of chemical companies operating in Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), within the time frame of 2015–2019. To reach our objective, a score-based content analysis was applied to assess the measure of SDGs achievement, and subsequently, the SDG score was used in multiple linear regression models with several financial data-based independent variables. The main findings highlight the companies’ contribution to the SDGs, particularly to those addressing the environment and decent work conditions for employees, and suggest that the research and development costs and other intangibles represent the most influential variable in explaining the variation in the firms’ SDG score. Academics, businesses and legislative bodies may find these results valuable in their corresponding activities: theoretical, pragmatic or statutory.

Keywords: sustainable development goals (SDGs); sustainability; financial and non-financial reporting; CEE countries; chemical companies; content analysis; regression models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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