The use of economic indicators from the Global Reporting Initiative by Spanish listed companies

María José García, Marta Turró, Oriol Amat


Purpose: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in companies is widely accepted within today’s business community. However, the intangibility of this concept and the dispersion of related standards and regulations has created a context characterized by lack of homogeneity in the publishing of CSR results. The present study aims to determine the extent to which Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators are used by Spanish listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach: An empirical analysis has been performed to asses and evaluate the 2011 CSR reports published by the companies listed on the IBEX-35, the Spanish stock exchange index which includes the most important listed companies. The analysis is centered exclusively on the economic indicators established by the GRI. The methodology used to interpret the results is based on the procedures of multivariate analysis, namely principal components analysis, correlation matrix, and hierarchical clustering.

Findings: The results of the study show that although the GRI tool is used extensively within the IBEX-35, the level of performance regarding the parameters established by the GRI varies depending on the studied company and indicator.

Research limitations: This study focuses on the biggest Spanish listed companies; thus, the conclusions may differ in other geographic locations, as well as for smaller businesses.

Practical implications: This line of research helps to know more about the social reporting policies of big Spanish listed companies.

Social implications: The evidence provided by this study helps to know more about the Corporate Social Responsibility policies and sustainability reports and declarations of social and environmental values governing their organizations.

Originality/value: This study is the first using principal component analysis in Spanish listed companies focusing in the economic indicators of the GRI.


Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Reporting Initiative, Economic Indicators

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience