Materiality and external assurance in corporate sustainability reporting: An exploratory study of UK house builders

Jones, Peter and Comfort, Daphne and Hillier, David (2015) Materiality and external assurance in corporate sustainability reporting: An exploratory study of UK house builders. Property Management, 33 (5). pp. 430-450. ISSN 0263-7472

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Abstract

This paper provides a preliminary examination of the extent to which the UK’s leading house builders are embracing the concept of materiality and commissioning independent external assurance as part of their sustainability reporting processes and to offer some wider reflections on materiality and external assurance in sustainability reporting. The paper begins with a review of the characteristics of materiality and external assurance and a brief outline of house building in the UK and of the sustainability challenges the industry faces. The information on which the paper is based is drawn for the top twenty UK house builders’ corporate Websites. The research reveals that only a minority of the UK’s top 20 house builders had embraced materiality or commissioned some form of independent external assurance or verification as an integral part of their sustainability reporting processes. In many ways this reduces the reliability and credibility of the house builders’ sustainability reports. Looking to the future growing stakeholder pressure may force the UK’s house builders to embrace materiality and commission external assurance as systematic and integral elements in the sustainability reporting process. The paper provides an accessible review of the current status of materiality and external assurance in the UK house builders’ sustainability reporting process, and as such it will interest professionals, practitioners, academics and students interested in sustainability in the construction industry.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: United Kingdom, Materiality, Corporate sustainability, External assurance, House builders
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD60 Social responsibility in business
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2015 16:16
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2016 05:19
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2766

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