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The global agenda of sustainable development goals (SDGs) has posed a major challenge to corporate organizations by addressing sustainability issues within their business model and strategy. Based on this premise, this study provides empirical examination of SDG reporting of the top fifty (50) listed companies in Nigeria for the period of 2016–2018.Design/methodology/approachThe study adopts survey method and content analysis technique to analyze corporate SDG reporting of the selected firms. The study examines the top-50 listed firms in Nigeria based on their market capitalization. Questionnaires were distributed to financial managers of the top-50 listed firms and staffs of the big four audit firms from the governance and sustainability department. The fifty (50) firms selected are as follows: 17 firms from the financial sector, 13 firms from the consumer goods sector, 5 firms from the healthcare sector, 6 firms from the oil and gas sector, 5 firms from the industrial goods sector and 4 firms from the information technology sector. The content analysis was utilized through the PwC framework, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework and International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) framework to gage the extent of firms' compliance regarding corporate SDG reporting. Also, the business reporting indicators for each SDG developed by GRI was employed to determine the compliance level of the selected firms with respect to corporate SDG reporting.FindingsThe empirical evidence shows that corporate organizations in Nigeria have performed poorly in corporate SDG reporting. The result of the survey reveals that lack of regulatory framework and voluntary disclosure are the major factors that contributes to low level of SDG reporting by Nigerian firms. Also, the result of the content analysis shows poor reporting on SDG activities. The result of the research survey indicates that voluntary disclosure, lack of management commitment and lack of regulatory enforcement accounts for low SDG disclosure by the selected Nigerian firms.Practical implicationsThis study's findings call for clear responsibility and a strong drive for SDG performance from corporate institutions in Nigeria. Whilst the overall responsibility rests on the government, the actualization of SDG cannot be achieved without support from corporate organizations. The empirical approach used in this study emphasizes the need for corporate organizations to embrace sustainable practices and to integrate SDG information into their reporting cycle.Originality/valueThis study contributes to growing literature in the area of corporate reporting and SDG research in Nigeria and other emerging economies.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 22, 2022
Keywords: Corporate organizations; Content analysis; Institutional theory; Nigerian listed companies; SDG reporting
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