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Does sustainability reporting promote university ranking? Australian and New Zealand evidence

Shan, Y.G., Zhang, J., Alam, M. and Hancock, P. (2021) Does sustainability reporting promote university ranking? Australian and New Zealand evidence. Meditari Accountancy Research, ahead-of-print .

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This study aims to investigate the relationship between university rankings and sustainability reporting among Australia and New Zealand universities. Even though sustainability reporting is an established area of investigation, prior research has paid inadequate attention to the nexus of university ranking and sustainability reporting.


This study covers 46 Australian and New Zealand universities and uses a data set, which includes sustainability reports and disclosures from four reporting channels including university websites, and university archives, between 2005 and 2018. Ordinary least squares regression was used with Pearson and Spearman’s rank correlations to investigate the likelihood of multi-collinearity and the paper also calculated the variance inflation factor values. Finally, this study uses the generalized method of moments approach to test for endogeneity.


The findings suggest that sustainability reporting is significantly and positively associated with university ranking and confirm that the four reporting channels play a vital role when communicating with university stakeholders. Further, this paper documents that sustainability reporting through websites, in addition to the annual report and a separate environment report have a positive impact on the university ranking systems.


This paper contributes to extant knowledge on the link between university rankings and university sustainability reporting which is considered a vital communication vehicle to meet the expectation of the stakeholder in relevance with the university rankings.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright: © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited
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