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Keywords:

  • eXtensible Markup Language;
  • Internet;
  • online reporting;
  • sustainability report;
  • triple bottom line approach

Abstract

Online reporting describes an emerging digital reporting approach based on support through current information and communication technology (ICT), particularly on the internet. Such a computer-based method provides an array of medium-specific capabilities and technical benefits to improve sustainability communication, both for companies (reporters) and their various stakeholders (report users). Compared with orthodox methods, online reporting used for sustainability communication overcomes the limitations of paper-based disclosure, such as ‘one size fits all’ reports, print medium fixation and one-way communication. The contribution gives an outline on this up-and-coming sustainability online reporting approach in four categories. (i) Medium-specific trends in the field are observed. (ii) New opportunities emerging for corporate sustainability communication are identified. (iii) A framework for sustainability online reporting is presented. (iv) Limitations are discussed that should be considered when moving away from early reporting stages towards the advanced one of sustainability online reporting. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.