What does the Business Model tell us about Natural Capital? Insights from African Integrated Reports

Author/s Paola Vola, Lorenzo Gelmini, Lucrezia Songini
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2021/suppl. 1 Language English
Pages 22 P. 75-96 File size 224 KB
DOI 10.3280/MACO2021-001-S1005
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The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity (TEEB, 2010) has emphasized the importance of business sectors involved in ecology, biodiversity, and the environ-ment’s entire conservation and protection process. Corporate sustainability raises the question of how environmental and social management can be better integrat-ed into economic business goals. The latter is important in order to trace the actual impact of firms’ actions on the environment by means of disclosure reports and in order to identify and promote business organizations’ virtuous behaviour. We investigate the type of information provided on natural capital and its posi-tioning within the integrated report (IR) body (the locus). This element is critical in order to understand whether the information provided is effective and, if so, whether it is likely to be translated into actions that impact the environment tangi-bly. We undertook an empirical analysis of the IR corpus’s disclosure of natural capi-tal in order to trace whether and, if so, how natural capital information is embod-ied in business activities, notably in IR’s business model (BM) section. We did so by investigating South African IR a very promising research domain, due to the environmental wealth and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange regulation that mandates listed companies to provide an IR. Our study sheds lights on real commitment to sustainability, discussing the type of information that the companies provide and its link to strategy implementation.

Keywords: Natural capital, Integrated Report, Business Model, sustainability, Africa

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Paola Vola, Lorenzo Gelmini, Lucrezia Songini, What does the Business Model tell us about Natural Capital? Insights from African Integrated Reports in "MANAGEMENT CONTROL" suppl. 1/2021, pp 75-96, DOI: 10.3280/MACO2021-001-S1005