Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 293–308 | Cite as

Transparency of Corporate Social Responsibility in Dutch Breweries

  • Lizet Quaak
  • Theo Aalbers
  • John Goedee
Open Access


According to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (2001), transparency by means of Sustainability Reporting should lead to better Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance of companies. Sustainability Reporting should also give consumers the information they need to purchase the most sustainable products available (Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, 2004). This article analyses the driving factors influencing CSR and Sustainability Reporting at seven breweries in the Netherlands. It also gives a better understanding of organizational behaviour with reference to CSR and the reasons breweries have for Sustainability Reporting. The Dutch government has no intention of forcing organizations to publish a sustainability report, since it is trying to diminish the volume of legislation. Rather, the government prefers to rely on the willingness and initiatives of organizations to make CSR a success. In 2006, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs will evaluate the effect of its CSR policy. But is it a success already? During our research, breweries appeared to find CSR more important than Sustainability Reporting. Sustainability reporting is, for most breweries, not the way to reach stakeholders. Most stakeholders have their own means for receiving information e.g. annual reports, meetings, public statements and press releases. Although small breweries think CSR is very important, they feel no pressure from outside to publish a sustainability report. For them it is very complex and expensive to publish a sustainability report. Large breweries feel pressure from many stakeholders to be transparent, but not on a regular basis. We conclude from this research that CSR does not stimulate Sustainability Reporting, but neither does Sustainability Reporting stimulate CSR.


breweries corporate community involvement corporate social responsibility environmental report narratives social report stakeholders sustainability report 



Computer-Mediated Communication


Computer-Mediated Asynchronous Communication


Corporate Social Responsibility


Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs


Global Reporting Initiative


Among other things


Model-Effectiveness Instrument


Sociaal Economische Raad (Social-Economic Counsil)


Sustainability Reporting


Institute for Public Health and the Environment


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The HagueNetherlands

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