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Jonsson, Simon, 2020. Assuring sustainability information : a study on the role of the independent third-party auditor in sustainability reporting assurance. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics

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Abstract

This thesis aims to provide a better understanding on the phenomenon of assurance of sustainability reports (SR) in Sweden by studying the role of the auditor through the lens of institutional theory. The subject is specifically relevant to sustainability managers, auditors and accountants as well as policy makers. The thesis gives an insight into the role of the auditor today and the possible role of this professional in the future, through studying why and how auditors work to establish and maintain themselves as assurance providers of non-financial information.
The research question is answered through an empirical, qualitative study of the phenomenon of third-party assurance of sustainability reports communicated to external stakeholders. Empirical data has been collected through semi-structured interviews with experts in the field, i.e. sustainability auditors and company sustainability managers.
The empirical findings of this study show that auditors use a set of institutional work types to establish them as assurers of information in SRs, including advocacy of their own established assurance standard, mimicry of existing financial audit practices and education of company actors in how to develop internal sustainability reporting practices. Based on the results of this study, it seems that auditors proactively try to create and maintain a role as assurance provider in hope to constitute a central part in the development of both external corporate reporting and actual internal corporate practices involving the aspect of sustainability.

Main title:Assuring sustainability information
Subtitle:a study on the role of the independent third-party auditor in sustainability reporting assurance
Authors:Jonsson, Simon
Supervisor:Langendahl, Per-Anders
Examiner:Ferguson, Richard
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:1287
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM002 Agricultural Economics and Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:assurance, sustainability assurance, sustainability reporting, environmental reporting, NFRD, GRI, triple bottom line
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-15876
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-15876
Subjects:Land economics and policies
Research methods
Language:English
Deposited On:07 Aug 2020 08:57
Metadata Last Modified:24 Aug 2020 10:05

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