Özyeğin University – TUSIAD Sustainable Development Forum engages in research activities by conducting Sectoral Sustainability Research.  All stakeholder groups agree that the corporate world has substantial impact on sustainable development. From 1990s corporate leaders, companies, and industrial associations have been preoccupied and strived for sustainable development. Measurement of sustainability performance is essential for determining the impact of corporate sustainability and drawing a road map for future sustainability endeavors. Although there are firm specific studies in the Turkish context relying on disclosure, sectoral studies are scarce. This project aims to collect firm level sustainability information, aggregate this data to sectoral level and conduct analyses to determine the best policies for Turkey’s sustainable development.

To this end, we first developed a methodology to objectively measure sustainability by combining knowledge extracted from surveying well accepted sustainability indices in the literature and interviews with sectoral representatives. We use this methodology to conduct content analysis on publically disclosed reports such as sustainability reports, corporate responsibility reports, annual reports and corporate governance compliance reports of manufacturing companies listed in BIST. We analyze the companies based on their environmental, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, employee rights, human rights and product and supply chain management practices. Thereby, we transform qualitative information on social and environmental sustainability into quantitative information. We consolidate firm level sustainability information to sectoral level and evaluate the effect of social and environmental sustainability on financial performance. We compare companies with the sectoral mean by applying descriptive statistics and with best practices by applying data envelopment analysis.

We will evaluate the manufacturing sector consisting of food and kindred products, textile mill products and apparel and other finished products made from fabrics and similar materials, leather and leather products,  lumber and wood products and  furniture, paper and allied products and printing, publishing, and allied industries, chemicals and allied products, petroleum refining and related industries, rubber and miscellaneous plastics products, stone, clay, glass, and concrete products, primary metal industries and fabricated metal products, machinery and transportation equipment sectors. For each sector, evaluation criteria are updated according to sectoral needs. After completion of content analysis of all sectors, we will consolidate all sectors’ data and obtain a data set with large sample size and conduct econometrical analysis to examine the relationship between sustainability and financial performance.

We plan to conduct this analysis for each sector annually thereby contributing to Turkey’s sustainable development two-fold: First, this project will address the scarcity of data on Turkish companies’ sustainability enabling detailed research on sustainable development will be conducted both on firm and sectoral levels. Secondly, this project will increase the number of companies disclosing integrated reports and improve reporting quality. United Nations Sustainable Development Target 12.6 reads as “Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle”. This project is an important step towards this specific target.

As the first phase of the study chemicals and allied products, petroleum refining and related industries, rubber and miscellaneous plastics products industries are analyzed, the findings are shared with the public and they are published as a report (in Turkish). For the detalis of the event in which the findings are publicized please click here.  To access the report you can use this link (the report is in Turkish).