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Transparency and Disclosure – Are We Doing Enough? : The NFRD’s effect on transparency and its benefits for actors in the Swedish food industry

  • Landén, Emma
  • Berntsson, Lukas
  • Törnqvist, Maja
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Abstract Problem: As sustainability grows larger in importance for consumers, so does the demand for information on companies’ sustainability work. In this situation, greenwashing has become a viable strategy for companies to use as a competitive advantage. Therefore, the EU came with a new directive in order to counteract this type of misleading behavior, the non-financial reporting directive (NFRD). Although many positive outcomes have come from non-financial reporting, the aspect of transparency remains uncharted.  Purpose: The purpose of this study is twofold. Firstly, it investigates how the non-financial reporting EU directive has impacted the transparency towards business partners active within the Swedish food industry. Secondly, the purpose is to explore how the Swedish non-financial reporting law benefits actors within the food industry. This paper embraces stakeholder theory. For the purpose of researching the topic of this paper, food production companies in Sweden were specifically chosen to narrow down the sample. Aim: This study aims to investigate the impacts of the NFRD on transparency and external communication, and through this, evaluate the efficiency of the directive and Swedish national law, which derives from the multi-national legislation, on transparency. Method: In this research, interpretivism was used as the guiding research approach. Being a qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were used as the primary source of data collection. Interviews were transcribed, and then coded and analyzed according to standard procedures.  Result and Conclusion: The results of the empirical findings were that the directive does not impact the transparency on Swedish partners at any significant level. It was also found that the primary benefits of the national non-financial reporting law of Sweden are not directed towards customers or partners, but rather the focal business, investors, and competitors. The main benefits were that the reports raised awareness for sustainability within the firm, they are of great use for benchmarking, as well as that the reports serve as useful information for green investors.

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