Junior Management Science, Volume 7, Issue 3, July 2022, 604-642

Effects of the European CSR Directive (2014/95/EU) on the Credibility of Sustainability Reporting – An Empirical Study of German Listed Companies

Tim Scheufen, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Masterar Thesis)

The European Union has implemented the CSR Directive 2014/95/EU with the aim to improve sustainability reporting in order to increase the trust of different stakeholders. There is evidence in the literature that stakeholders distrust the sustainability reporting of companies. The lack of credibility may lead to a loss legitimacy or acceptance in society. Accordingly, the master thesis raises the research question whether the implemented CSR directive has increased credibility in the sustainability reporting. To answer the research question the credibility of the sustainability reporting is quantified before and after the implementation of the CSR directive in a German sample (MDAX). Credibility is measured by a credibility index which consists of the following three dimensions: (1) Truth, (2) sincerity and (3) appropriateness & understandability. The results show a statistically significant increase in the dimensions of truth and sincerity after the introduction of the CSR directive. Therefore, the master thesis delivers empirical evidence for the effectiveness of the implemented CSR directive in the context of credibility.

Keywords: CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU; Glaubwürdigkeit; Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung; MDAX.