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Advancing the sustainable development goals: evidence from leading European banks

Avrampou, A., Skouludis, A., Iliopoulos, G. and Khan, N. ORCID: (2019) Advancing the sustainable development goals: evidence from leading European banks. Sustainable Development, 27 (4). pp. 743-757. ISSN 1099-1719

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/sd.1938


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect grand challenges the global community needs to address in order to ensure economic welfare, environmental quality as well as social cohesion and prosperity for future generations. In this respect, the role of the banking sector, among other critical business entities and key stakeholders, is vital. The purpose of our paper is to examine how comprehensively the reported performance of banks aligns with the endorsement of the SDGs. We employ the well-established framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) performance indicators for a comparative assessment of the nonfinancial performance disclosed in the annual sustainability reports. Focusing on a small sample of leading European banks, we find an overall low contribution to the SDGs. Furthermore, each bank’s contribution remains particularly heterogeneous towards most individual SDG goals. Likewise, bank-specific strategies drive the most extensively addressed SDGs, overlooking any critical importance of certain GRI indicators with multifaceted impact across several SDGs. The study sets forth managerial implications for improving effective reporting of SDG performance. It concludes with emerging opportunities for enhancing disclosure of SDGs contribution and highlights future research perspectives towards industry-wide shared-value appraisal under the scope of these pressing grand challenges.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:82597


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