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2023, vol. 71, iss. 1-2, pp. 77-100
Investing in the SDGs and reporting by ESG metrics: The accounting perspective
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Economy, Department of Accounting and Business Finance, Serbia
There are less than ten years left to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, it seems that the remaining work on their implementation will take far more time than expected. This is particularly the case in developing countries which face difficulties in providing the necessary sources of finance for the acquisition of new technologies, investment in infrastructure projects, and the development of cleaner and environmentally-friendly production. Objective circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Europe and the subsequent energy crisis, have further slowed down these processes, threatening to undo the positive developments in the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Despite a significant progress made in the field of transparent reporting aimed at supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals, our impression is that a great number of different institutions have invested efforts to make a step forward in this domain, but due to the lack of globally coordinated activities, we are still far from a universal conceptual framework. That path is paved with numerous challenges. First, a high-quality conceptual framework must be compliant with the sustainable development goals to be able to track the global progress in their achievement, which requires an adequate system of performance measurement and monitoring at the global level. Second, the operationalization of sustainable development goals, recognized at the global level, must be followed by the adoption of compatible reporting at the corporate level, bearing in mind that companies are actually most responsible for local and planetary problems. The risks arising from inadequate performance measurement at the corporate level are far from being negligible. They are related to the efficiency in channeling limited capital toward the sectors and companies where it will be possible to produce the most beneficial environmental effects. At the same time, there is a risk of potential abuse with regard to the disclosure of good news or the cover-up of bad news, which casts doubt on the accuracy of information on the progress in achieving the SDGs, increasing risks of the misallocation of resources. In this paper, we investigate the complexity of aligning corporate reporting with the requirements imposed by the SDGs.
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article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
DOI: 10.5937/EKOPRE2302077M
received: 09/01/2023
published in SCIndeks: 21/04/2023

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