The perspective of sustainability reporting phenomena in Finnish real estate markets

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Date
2016-08-22
Department
Major/Subject
Creative Sustainability in Real Estate
Mcode
IA3026
Degree programme
Master’s Degree Programme in Real Estate Economics
Language
en
Pages
61+11
Series
Abstract
This master’s thesis investigates the perspective of the real estate professionals on the impacts of the three sustainability reporting phenomena; mandatory reporting, external assurance of sustainability information and the integrated reporting framework in the Finnish real estate markets. A futures study approach together with semi-structured expert interviews are used in studying and illustrating the consequences of the subject matter as emerging trends in the reporting field. The study draws upon the points of view of real estate sustainability professionals regarding the implications of the emerging trends in the reporting field and found that the transition of the disclosure of non-financial information from voluntary to mandatory reporting in the European Union and around the globe shows that more governmental bodies are exerting pressure for more corporate social responsibility to promote sustainable development. This is evident with more Finnish companies pursuing actions that facilitate the integration of sustainability issues to their business strategies. Particularly, in the real estate sector, there is a steadier progress of sustainability reporting with prospects that; the introduction of mandatory reporting is likely to increase compliance by companies, translating into increased transparency and comparability of sustainability information to allow best business practices within the sector. In addition, it is projected that the use of external assurance of sustainability information would increase stakeholder engagement, and the completeness and reliability of data; whereas the use of an integrated reporting framework has great potentials of clearly communicating company strategies with a holistic view which would increase company brand values and the possibilities of sparking innovations by the providers. Therefore, to enhance the efficiency of the real estate sector; it is necessary that sustainability data and information is accurate and readily available to all stakeholder groups, and that real estate companies remain flexible and ready to adjust to emerging trends.
Description
Supervisor
Viitanen, Kauko
Thesis advisor
Toivonen, Saija
Rashidfarokhi, Anahita
Keywords
external assurance, futures wheel, integrated reporting, mandatory reporting, real estate companies, sustainability reporting
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