Health and well-being key performance indicators in corporate sustainability disclosure. A review of sustainability reports from a sample of major European companies

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Michele Dolcini
Andrea Brambilla
Marco Gola
Stefano Capolongo


sustainability reporting, health and well-being, key performance indicators, GRI Standards, ISO 45001, emo, Employee well-being


Background and aim: Health and Well-Being (HWB) measurement represents a key issue for companies in all sectors and a core element of social sustainability, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Despite its importance for companies and in sustainability reporting, the topic has not been investigated yet from a cross-sectoral perspective. Therefore, this research aims to assess if health and well-being are disclosed in sustainability reports of the largest European companies.

Methods: The disclosure of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) has been investigated and compared according to the main international frameworks of sustainability. The research focused on sustainability reporting from a sample of the 30 largest companies in three methodological steps. First, the inclusion of HWB issues has been analyzed, identifying references to the SDGs and ISO 45001 within the documents. A second level of analysis considered the adoption of the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Standards, with particular attention to Health metrics (GRI:403). The third level of analysis aimed at researching health and well-being performances, linked to specific KPIs from two selected case studies.

Results: The review highlighted that all 30 companies generally refer to SDG 3 and SDG 8 in their sustainability reporting while 83%(n=25) of them also apply either Occupational Health and Safety ISO 45001 or Health metrics in GRI Standards; 22 (73%) companies adopted both GRI as the sustainability reporting standard and disclosed the adoption of ISO 45001 management system. Only in two cases, an additional structured framework for HWB is reported highlighting the need for more comprehensive KPIs, especially for employee’s well-being.

Conclusions: The study highlighted that health indicators disclosure is generally limited to GRI Standards disclosure. To achieve greater transparency in sustainability reporting, there is a need to further investigate the issue.



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