No. 96: The forces that shape mandatory ESG reporting

Jahr: 2022
Typ: Working Paper
Open Science:


Having been sidelined for decades, environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting by business entities has now firmly entered the mainstream in corporate reporting. In this chapter, we outline the economic forces and social institutions that shape mandatory ESG reporting. We start by introducing the term, development and significance of the ESG concept and related approaches that describe corporate actions beyond shareholder value maximization as well as corporate social and environmental exposures and impacts. ESG reporting is then characterized as an emerging complementary element of the broader phenomenon of corporate reporting. We continue by discussing the economic forces shaping ESG reporting as reactions to a growing collective awareness that a neoliberalist economic order, with companies focused solely on profit maximization, is causing serious ecological and social problems since externalities are not sufficiently internalized. Corporate reporting and transparency about firms’ ESG-related matters are then presented as a potential remedy that, however, faces its own challenges and limitations. We then describe the evolving regulatory landscape of mandatory ESG reporting along with its key players and initiatives.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin und der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.