Sustainability reporting in project-based industries: a European study with a focus on the motion picture industry

University essay from Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: Project-based industries (PBIs) and more specifically the motion picture industry (MPI) are industries with fluid workflows composed of non-standardised routines. The constant and massive employment of resources on an industrial level (energy usage, waste production, ephemeral decors, food consumption, transportation) generates a considerable negative impact on the environment. These industries are not striving towards sustainable development due to their ever changing work processes but have still not suffered from consumers’ backlash as many others are currently experiencing (fast fashion). Nonetheless, sustainability reporting (SR) is a rising phenomenon among MPIs due to an increased awareness about climate change and the need to shift business priorities towards a triple bottom line approach. With the employment of the major theories traditionally used to explore sustainability reporting, this thesis analysed the current stage of sustainability reporting practices in project-based industries with a focus on the motion picture industries in Europe (UK, France, Italy and Sweden). To reach this purpose, a theoretical tryptic supported the argumentation: the institutional theory, legitimacy theory and stakeholder theory were employed in synergy. Eventually, researchers confirm that SR is a rising practice and that it is not harmonised among its users. Given the lack of tailored legislative framework, organisations adventure themselves into self-assessment and third-party assessment with incohesive methodologies. Overall the motivations behind such a transition mainly emanate from personal conviction for sustainability, rather than established institutional or social pressure. Lastly, collaboration and stakeholders considerations are a reality and contribute to a more genuine engagement of MPIs into SR.

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