Går det att jämföra hållbarhetsredovisningar? : En diskursanalys av tre företags hållbarhetsredovisningar inom bygg- och fastighetsbranschen

Detta är en Uppsats för yrkesexamina på avancerad nivå från Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle; Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Sammanfattning: The establishment of sustainability reports has become more prominent among companies the last decades as well as the demand to be able to compare these reports. There are many variables which affect the comparability of sustainability reports, partly the difficulty with the actual definition of the term sustainability as well as the lack of regulations and directives regarding the matter. Further, the style of the texts has bearing on the comparability since the rhetoric of the company affects how sustainability is communicated in the sustainability reports. The aim of this study is to create an understanding of how sustainability is communicated by the three largest companies within the construction- and development industry in Sweden, as well as to see if their sustainability reports are comparable. Through a discourse analysis it is examined how sustainability is communicated in the companies’ sustainability reports. The result shows that the discourse of sustainability is institutionalized by the companies. It is possible to identify a homogeneity since all the companies studied account for their corporate social responsibility, their environmental impact as well as how they strive for conducting a safe, legal and corruption-free business. The result also shows that depending on what the companies choose to communicate, in combination with what rhetorical argument is used to convey the information, it impacts the comparability. The study indicates that the comparable information regarding sustainability has a greater feature of logos argumentation where the texts are supported with statistics and data. This information has a greater opportunity to be compared within the company itself over time but also between the different companies, given that the information meets the basic criteria regarding consistency and uniformity. In the future, it would be of interest to study the comparability of sustainability reports within the construction- and development industry on a larger scale, for instance by comparing companies from different European countries. Further, a similar comparative study of big versus small companies could provide knowledge regarding if sustainability is institutionalized within the whole construction- and development industry. 

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