Background of the Study
Corporate sustainability is essential to long-term corporate success and for ensuring markets deliver value across society (United Nations Global Compact, 2014). Aware of that, investors have adopted sustainability as a criterion to be considered in the configuration of their investment portfolios, which has led to the emergence of sustainability indices linked to the financial market. Among these are the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the United States, FTSE4Good in the United Kingdom, Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE) in Brazil, and the STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index in Germany.
The idea underlying these indices is that sustainability practices constitute a potential element for long-term value creation from which shareholders will benefit. To belong to sustainability indices, firms are required to develop and disclose information that reflects the criteria adopted in matters of sustainability, and this information usually appears in their sustainability report(SR). There are various benefits arising out of a firm’s engagement in sustainability. Some of them are employee involvement within the firm and the motivation improvement (Becchetti, Di Giacomo, &Pinnacchio, 2008), reputation and image benefits (Orlitzky& Swanson, 2012).The failures of companies such as Enron and Parmalat, among others have promptedquestions about the adequacy of traditional financial reports in assessing corporate performance Calitz, Cullen, and Bosire (2015). These unpleasant incidences are stirring demands from different governments, stock market regulators, media and academia, for increased corporate transparency and disclosure in order to assess performance in diverse areas that are potential sources of risk. Transparency and disclosure practices of companies are major determinants for successful corporate governance.
Sustainability reporting provides information that increases corporate transparency and accountability in economic, environmental, social and governance terms; it provides information not entirely captured in corporate financial statements such as statement of financial position, statement of comprehensive income and statement of cash flows. Sustainability report increasingly becomes a trend and a necessity for progressive companies to inform about their performance of economic, social, and environmental, as well as to all stakeholders of the company (Chariri & Firman, 2009). The collapse of corporate giant (Enron) has created concerns about corporate transparency and the inability of financial reports to convey the entire information needed to ascertain the performance of a business enterprise. This has also led to the notion that companies should report information that portrays its sustainability performance.
The use of Sustainability Reporting (a term used to describe a company’s reporting onits economic, environmental and social performance) techniques has been increasing rapidly in recent years. An understanding of the basis of this reporting system, and its impact on financial performance is very crucial in determining the essence of its application. The financial performance of companies has been under the front of academic discuss. Financial performance connotes the ability of the firms to fulfil the major of the firm which is to maximize profit and ultimately maximize the shareholders wealth. Over the years financial performance of firms has been the focus of financial reporting but in recent times investors and other stakeholder have begun to raise questions as to performance of the firm beyond the financial aspect. The move gave birth to the concept of sustainability reporting which requires the firm to disclose social, environmental and economic impacts. In investing this new movement on reporting company activities, some scholars have come to say that sustainability reporting has an influence on the financial performance of firms while others are reasoning otherwise. In reaction to this a number of studies have been carried out on the sustainability and firm performance. The results of the various studies have generated conflicting views as to the extent of influence that sustainability reporting has on the financial performance of firms. It is against this background that is study is being carried to further ascertain the truism in this assertion with particular reference to the Breweries industry in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Regardless of the importance of sustainability to creating long-term value and corporate success, there is no clear consensus as to whether the sustainability reports affect the financial performance of companies in Nigeria. So far it is unclear what impact Sustainability reporting has actually had on organization strategies, practices and outcomes. The result of most researches conducted on sustainability reporting and financial performance are either inconclusive or contradictory, reporting positive or sometimes negative results. In the light of these limitations, this study is therefore set to find out the impact of Sustainability Reporting on financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of sustainability reporting on the financial performance of Listed Breweries in Nigeria. The following were the specific objectives of the study;
To examine the impact of social reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
To evaluate the influence of economic reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
To assess the effect of environmental reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised for this study;
What is the impact of social reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria?What is the influence of economic reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria?
What is the effect of environmental reporting on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated for this study;
Ho1: Social reporting does not significantly affect financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
Ho2: Economic reporting does not have any significant influence on financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
Ho3: Environmental reporting does not have any significant impact on the financial performance of listed breweries in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study through its findings will be of immense benefits to organizations, regulatory authorities, professional bodies in accounting, stakeholders, host communities of organizations and academia.
This study would aid management of various organizations in ascertaining the specific sustainability guidelines and tenets to follow. This study would help to broaden the horizon of knowledge of regulatory agencies, legislative arm of government and relevant professional bodies in accountancy, by putting in place measures to encourage sustainability reporting amongst registered firms in Nigeria.
In addition to these, this study would help future researchers who might want to dig deep on the subject matter as it serves as a basis of reserved knowledge to be consulted by future researchers.
1.7 Scope of the study.
The trust of this study is on the ascertainment of the level of impact of Sustainability Reporting on Financial Performance of Breweries listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This study will consider the economic reporting, social reporting and environmental reporting. The study focused on brewing sector of the Nigerian economy and only listed breweries were used and the research covered the period of 2010 to 2018.