Embedding and managing blockchain in sustainability reporting: A practical framework

Pizzi, Simone, Caputo, Andrea, Venturelli, Andrea and Caputo, Fabio (2022) Embedding and managing blockchain in sustainability reporting: A practical framework. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal . ISSN 2040-8021

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-07-2021-0288

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Embedding and managing blockchain in sustainability reporting: A practical framework
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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper consists in the evaluation of blockchain’s enabling role for sustainability reporting. The study extends the scientific knowledge about the impacts related to the notarization of mandatory sustainability reports through a publicly available blockchain.
Design/methodology/approach: Building on the Idea Journey Framework, the paper presents the case study of Banca Mediolanum in Italy, a first-mover who notarized its non-financial declaration on a public blockchain to mitigate the information asymmetries that negatively impact stakeholder engagement.
Findings: The analysis reveals that the notarization of the non-financial reports through a publicly available blockchain can represent a tool useful to mitigate the asymmetric information between organizations and stakeholders.
Originality: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study about sustainability reporting practices and blockchain. This research contributes to the currently scarce discussion about the role of blockchain in non-financial reporting. In addition, we contribute to the scientific conversation about the need to rethink assurance in non-financial reporting practices.
Practical implications: Although academics and practitioners have observed the benefits of its implementation, only a few companies have adopted blockchain systems to ensure their information's reliability. Our findings underline the opportunity for socially responsible organizations to signal their orientation toward sustainable development through the adoption of an innovative tool.

Keywords:Blockchain, notarization, trust, audit, sustainability reporting
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:47894
Deposited On:08 Feb 2022 14:50

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