Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are the most relevant and recent attempt to integrate sustainable development ambitions and environmental concerns in a policy framework. Recently, few studies have been conducted to investigate the gap between sustainability reporting and the SDGs, initiating a new stream of research (Lozano 2015; Rosati and Faria 2019). However, the role of accounting systems as a support for moving toward goals and targets outlined by the SDGs has been poorly deepened in not-traditional profit-oriented businesses. Among these, there are cooperatives: jointly owned benefit corporations. The peculiarity of cooperatives lays in the collective governance and the fact that profits are re-invested in the cooperative or in local projects and activities rather than being distributed to the shareholders. The present study intends to fill this gap by answering the following research question: can a cooperative, given its peculiar nature, contribute to sustainability? To do so, the annual sustainability reports of the largest Italian cooperative have been analyzed under the lens of SDGs. The results show that cooperatives can actively contribute to sustainability, especially on the local level. In fact, they have proved to be important players in transposing the SDGs from the national level to the local level, constituting an important link between the international community and the local one.

Moving Businesses toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Evidence from an Italian “Benefit-For-Nature” Corporation / Battaglia, Massimo; Gragnani, Patrizia; Annesi, Nora. - In: ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESEARCH JOURNAL. - ISSN 2157-5665. - (2020). [10.1515/erj-2019-0305]

Moving Businesses toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Evidence from an Italian “Benefit-For-Nature” Corporation

Massimo Battaglia
Primo
;
2020

Abstract

Sustainable development goals (SDGs) are the most relevant and recent attempt to integrate sustainable development ambitions and environmental concerns in a policy framework. Recently, few studies have been conducted to investigate the gap between sustainability reporting and the SDGs, initiating a new stream of research (Lozano 2015; Rosati and Faria 2019). However, the role of accounting systems as a support for moving toward goals and targets outlined by the SDGs has been poorly deepened in not-traditional profit-oriented businesses. Among these, there are cooperatives: jointly owned benefit corporations. The peculiarity of cooperatives lays in the collective governance and the fact that profits are re-invested in the cooperative or in local projects and activities rather than being distributed to the shareholders. The present study intends to fill this gap by answering the following research question: can a cooperative, given its peculiar nature, contribute to sustainability? To do so, the annual sustainability reports of the largest Italian cooperative have been analyzed under the lens of SDGs. The results show that cooperatives can actively contribute to sustainability, especially on the local level. In fact, they have proved to be important players in transposing the SDGs from the national level to the local level, constituting an important link between the international community and the local one.
2020
SDGs, cooperatives, sustainability reporting, benefit corporations
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Moving Businesses toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Evidence from an Italian “Benefit-For-Nature” Corporation / Battaglia, Massimo; Gragnani, Patrizia; Annesi, Nora. - In: ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESEARCH JOURNAL. - ISSN 2157-5665. - (2020). [10.1515/erj-2019-0305]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1433023
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