What's the story? : an exploration of North America's pipeline industry's sustainability reporting practice
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SubjectDisclosure; Economic; Environmental; Pipeline; Social; Sustainability Reporting
With an aim of identifying specifically what North America's pipeline industry discloses and fails to disclose in its sustainability reporting, this study undertook a disclosure index analysis based on the GRI's G3 framework to analyze the industry's sustainability reporting archive for 2009 through 2012. This study finds that the story that the pipeline industry tells through its sustainability reporting is overwhelmingly positive, but exceedingly narrow and incomplete. With just 50% of its membership producing sustainability reports, the pipeline industry addresses on average only 25% of disclosures suggested under the GRI framework and in nearly all cases, disclosures exclude consideration of all activities and impacts that are outside of reporting organizations' direct control. Analysis of disclosure rates for individual indicators shows that the industry eschews disclosure of indicators that convey "bad news" or indicators for which data collection represents a substantial barrier, lending credence to the legitimacy theory of sustainability reporting.
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