How logistics firms deal with and report on CSR expectations

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan; Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan


The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not new; however, it hasstarted to gain more attention during the last fifteen years. During this period, logistics activities were structured to maximize profitability of all firms in the supply chain by including only economic costs while disregarding social and environmental costs. Since logistics firms play a vital role in international trade, and since they are one of the main types of firms that are facing pressure from various shareholders to deal with social and environmental issues, it can be concluded that the performance of logistics enterprises under CSR pressure is worth investigating.

Literature review has been performed by the authors to discuss previous research on the environmental and social sustainability development, the concept of corporate social responsibility, CSR reporting and different ways of reporting, the geographical differences in Reporting CSR (Asia, Europe, and North America), CSR guidelines, and finally the term of logistics social responsibility.

A sample of 50 logistics companies is selected from three regions: Asia, Europe, andNorth America, which is presenting seven different logistics categories. We access toseparate CSR reports ranging from 2009 to 2011 and other disclosures on the firms’websites in order to analyze their CSR reporting status and practices under CSRpressures. Different reporting guidelines (e.g. GRI, GC, ISO 14001) and report types (e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility Report; Sustainability Report) were investigated from the sample according to logistics categories and geography differences. Moreover, the contents included in the separate CSR reports are analyzed from five factors: i)Environment; ii) Society; iii) Shareholders; iv) Employees; v) Suppliers. Furthermore, for CSR practices implemented by other logistics firms which do not prepare CSR reports, four common dimensions are studied in the thesis: Environment, Employees, Consumers and Communities.

In the end, suggestions about the way to improve the current practices of corporate social responsibility reporting are provided. The paper also discusses the value of the results both for the business field and the academic field.

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