Stand‐Alone Sustainability Reporting Practices in an Emerging Market: A Longitudinal Investigation

Date01 January 2017
Published date01 January 2017
AuthorAli Uyar
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley Online Library (
DOI 10.1002/jcaf.22208
Stand-Alone Sustainability
Reporting Practices in an Emerging
Market: A Longitudinal Investigation
Ali Uyar
Editor’s note: This article is
an example of JCAF’s inten-
tion to be a comprehensive
journal providing a variety
of coverages on many diverse
topics of interest to vary-
ing readers. This particular
article represents JCAF’s
international coverage of the
developments in reporting
practices in various regions
of the world, especially
a developing nation such
as Turkey. It is seen as an
encouragement for others
to conduct sustainability
reporting. Of particular
note in this research is the
participation of the so called
Big Four public account-
ing firms, as known in the
United States, in the conduct
of independent assurance
services in regards to sustain-
ability reporting.
The inclusion
of nonfinancial
information in
corporate reports
has been evolving rapidly in
recent years. Sustainability
reporting is a dimension of
nonfinancial reporting that
is growing in importance to
investors (Uyar,2016). While
many consider sus-
tainability to still be
in its infancy stage,
firms are increas-
ingly engaging in
sustainability initia-
tives and publishing
stand-alone sus-
tainability reports
(Amran & Haniffa,
2011; Boiral, 2013;
Kiliç, Kuzey, &
Uyar, 2015). Various
stakeholders, includ-
ing various types
of media, nonprofit
organizations, and
global sustainability
organizations, are
playing important
roles in this evolution
for markets that are
both developed and
emerging. This study
provides substantial
information regard-
ing sustainability
reporting practices
in Turkey in an attempt to
describe sustainability report-
ing in at least one emerging
This study investigates sustainability reporting
practices in the emerging market of Turkey for
a 10-year period between 2004 and 2013. While
there are several Turkish firms preparing sustain-
ability reports consistently during the sample
period, there is also a long road to be traveled
with regard to consistent and complete reporting
on sustainability. The most widespread frame-
work used in sustainability reporting is the Global
Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. One of the
main features of the GRI framework is that it pro-
vides grades, known as application levels, for the
extent of a company’s sustainability initiatives and
reporting. The number of reports containing GRI-
verified application levels and the levels of sus-
tainability are both on the rise. Moreover, there is a
slow increase in the number of externally prepared
assurance reports on sustainability numbers. The
majority of these reports were prepared by Big
Four accounting firms. Finally, the outsourcing of
sustainability reporting has become more preva-
lent during the sample period. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Editorial Review

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