Sustainability Reporting and Firms’ Economic Performance: Evidence from Asia and Africa

Alicia Girón, Amirreza Kazemikhasragh, Antonella Francesca Cicchiello, Eva Panetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the increasing concern for the global environmental issues and the relating need for preservation of the ecosystem, sustainability reporting has become more and more important, to both developed and developing economies, sparking the interest of the literature. This study primarily aims to investigate the factors that influence the adoption of new sustainability reporting practices and external assurance. Also, this paper examines the relationship between the reporting activity and firms’ economic performance. The paper combines data from the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Disclosure Database and the Orbis database, from Bureau van Dijk. More specifically, the study uses two logit models and one regression model based on a sample of 366 large Asian and African companies which have addressed the SDGs in their sustainability reports published in 2017. The results reveal that operating in the manufacturing sector and having a higher percentage of women directors in the company’s management structure are positively related to the adoption of sustainability reporting and external assurance. Also, operating in the manufacturing sector leads to better firms’ economic performance. Contrarily from previous studies, the age of the company’s board of directors does not have influences on the use of sustainability reporting. This research contributes to the sustainability issues in the context of emerging markets by explaining the driving factors behind it and its linkage with firms’ performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1741-1759
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Board Gender Diversity
  • Firm's performance
  • Sustainability Reporting
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


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