Sustainability Reporting Assurance: A Literature Survey

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Kaya İ.

19th Conference of the Eurasia-Business-and-Economics-Society (EBES), İstanbul, Turkey, 01 May 2016, vol.7, pp.33-50 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 7
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-54112-9_3
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.33-50


Recent years have witnessed a growing demand for corporate sustainability disclosures as a result of an increase in accountability pressures on businesses. According to professional literature, obtaining assurance is a costly decision, but at the same time, it is a valuable tool for companies and leads to increased stakeholder confidence. The growing market for assurance provision has been divided between certification bodies, specialist consultancies and accounting firms. Additionally, there is an increasing prominence within the capital markets of indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The existence of the different standards providing guidance for Sustainability Reporting Assurance is another characteristic that deserves attention. In parallel with these developments, the assurance of sustainability reports is a fast growing area of interest in the academic research. Studies on this area provide evidence on a number of factors that may affect the general development of the profession in terms of the services it attempts to offer and the methodologies used to provide these services. The purpose of the present paper is to highlight the focus of the empirical studies and identify the broad problem areas on sustainability assurance practice. It critically assess how researchers study sustainability reporting assurance in fact, considering both experimental and archival methods and it provides a survey of the recent progress in the literature. This survey consists of a high-level review academic journal articles published in the years between 2005 and 2015.