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Intellectual capital and sustainability management: Perspectives for an integrated reporting and benchmarking

: Orth, R.; Kohl, H.

Schiuma, Giovanni (Hrsg.) ; Institute of Knowledge Asset Management -IKAM-:
Knowledge, Innovation and Sustainability. Integrating micro and macro perspectives. Proceedings IFKAD-KCWS 2012 : 7th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD) and 5th Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS); Matera, Italy, 13-15 June 2012
Matera, 2012
ISBN: 978-88-96687-08-6 (eBook)
International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD) <7, 2012, Matera>
Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS) <5, 2012, Matera>
Fraunhofer IPK ()

Purpose - Sustainability Management can be defined as a corporate strategy that respects not only economic goals but also environmental and social aspects (Schaltegger, 2011). In this context the development and use of intellectual capital (IC) provides an important lever for the implementation of sustainability management due to the fact that IC affects equally all three sustainability dimensions. Different sustainability management concepts point out the relevance of intangible resources but the contribution of IC to a sustainable development is not or only very limited provided. Therefore the question arises how intangible resources can be measured and communicated as well as managed systematically considering the vision of sustainable development. Within this paper perspectives for an integrative approach will be examined.
Approach - Regarding the integration of Intellectual Capital and Sustainability Management three aspects should be examined in detail: (1) Conceptual Model: based on the InCaS approach (Mertins et al., 2009) an integrated framework will be developed, taking aspects of different sustainability concepts into account. (2) KPI and Benchmarking: built on the 'BenchmarkIndex' (Mertins et al., 2011), an integrated set of indicators will be developed - useful for internal management as well as external reporting purposes. (3) Integrated Reporting: Bases on a systematic review of existing (sustainability reporting) guidelines requirements regarding an integrated reporting format will be formulated. Originality/value - IFKAD-KCWS 2012 tackles three crucial aspects of the 21st century: knowledge, innovation and sustainability - on a micro and macro level. Against this background the paper aims to integrate two distinctive but at the same time greatly corresponding perspectives - intellectual capital and sustainability management on the micro/company level. Both topics are of high relevance for the future of organizations but have not really been integrated so far. This work will also contribute to the actual discussion initiated by the IIRC on "Communicating Value in the 21st Century" and harmonizing different disclosure formats (IIRC, 2011).
Practical implications - According to the global survey "A New Era of Sustainability" more than 80% of CEOs stated that sustainability issues are now fully embedded into strategies and operations of their companies (Lacy et al., 2010). But at the same time only 21% of listed companies report any sustainability information (Bloomberg, 2010) and the full integration of sustainability into performance management frameworks remains some way off (Berns et al., 2009). A result of this paper will be a draft model for an integrated sustainability management - taking intangibles into account and bridging the gap between internal management and external reporting issues. This proposal will consider conceptual as well as procedural aspects for implementing for an integrated performance measurement and reporting.