Business Management

Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility

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Assessment Type


Word Count

2800 words


Corporate Governance


5 Days

Assignment Criteria

PART A (50 marks) Body of the internal report 

Assume that you are employed by a consumer watch group (CHOSEN) to assess  sustainability performance of organisations. You have been assigned by your  General Manager, Teresa Green, to assess Wesfarmers Limited. Wesfarmers Limited  is an Australian conglomerate, headquartered in Perth, Western Australia, with  interests predominantly in Australian and New Zealand retail, as well as in chemicals,  fertilisers, coal mining and industrial and safety products. 

The sustainability reports for 2014 and 2015 are accessible through the two links below 

2014 report: 2015 report: Requirement for Part A 

Provide an internal report to Teresa so she can combine it with reports about other  companies that she will present to the board of directors. In your internal report (under a section named 'Wesfamers Comparison') assess and compare the 2014  sustainability report to the 2015 sustainability report in relation to the G4 GRI  Guidelines. You should note areas of improved sustainability performance for the  three aspects; economics, environmental and social (also considering the four (4)  sub-categories of the social aspect) between the 2014 and the 2015 report. Try to  think which of the guidelines would be most relevant to this business. Does the report contain targets? How detailed (well specified) are these targets? 

You should also note (in the body of your report): 

The self declared level of adherence and whether you agree that this is an  appropriate description of the level. For justification of your choice please refer  to the GRI G4 'in accordance' guidance. 

Any guidelines followed in preparing the report (this should at least be GRI but  may also include the standard AA1000AS or the UN Global Compact, or Industry  Regulations/Guidelines) 

Whether the report has been verified or not, and if so, who was the verifier (comment on the type of business e.g. Accountants/other specialist), and what is  the scope of the assurance. 

You will also need to download the G4 guidelines from the study desk, and other  material you believe are helpful, free from the GRI website  ( 

The body of your review and analysis does not need to cover all aspects of  disclosure, but should be a general assessment with reference to the GRI Reporting  Principles and Standard Disclosures. You should use the GRI Guidelines themselves.  The Guidelines give examples of tests for assessment (e.g., ability to compare year  to year, use of benchmarks, etc). 

A suggested layout is to use a table with the aspect of the report being assessed on  the left e.g. completeness and your comments and conclusion on the right. 

Comment on how 'user-friendly' you found the report. Was it easy to find the parts  of the report relevant to a particular guideline? Was the report well referenced? Did it  give a balanced view (negative as well as positive aspects)? 

The key is to cover the main points (for this type of business) and to present it in a  professional manner (full report format is not required BUT presentation should be  businesslike and neat and references are required). However, this is a general  overview rather than a complete detailed review of all possible aspects (see Useful  links below for more information). Stick to core disclosures plus additional ones that  seem relevant for this type of business. Use the GRI index provided by the company  as a starting point – but be critical. What have they not covered? Have they  appropriately identified things (issues) as material?

PART B Company's Sustainability reports comparison written in two  countries (30 marks) 

Secondly, as an employee of a consumer watch group, you are asked to make a  comparison on the sustainability reporting by Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Limited. You  note that Fuji Xerox Australia Pty Limited sustainability did release a 2014 report available on the websites Fxasustainability.Com but not a  2015 report. You find that the 2015 sustainability report was produced by Fuji  Xerox Head Office in Japan. 

You notice some differences in the guidelines used for reporting and disclosure in its Japan 2015 sustainability report compared to the 2014 report produced in Australia. 

Requirement for Part B 

Provide in your internal report the following information under a separate section  named 'Fuji Xerox comparison

  1. What different guidelines were used in the 2015 report compared to the  2014 report? 
  2. What factors would cause the different influences in these reports produced  in Australia (2014) and Japan (2015)? 
  3. Assess and compare the 2014 sustainability report to the 2015 sustainability  report in relation to the G4 GRI Guidelines.  

PART C Professional Writing style, Conclusions, and Recommendations (10 marks) 

You are required to develop separate conclusions based solely on your analysis under  (1) Part A for Wesfamers and (2) Part B for Fuji Xerox. Your recommendations  you formulate must be then based on your conclusions (that is, no new discussion or  analysis can be introduced into either your conclusions or your recommendations). 

Your report writing, sentence structure, and grammar must be prepared in a highly  professional manner and format. 

PART D Reflective journal of personal development (10 marks) 

Your reflective personal journal should be completed separately to the internal  report BUT in the same Word document under the heading 'PART D Reflective  journal of personal development'. Your writing should reflect on how your  personal development has been aided by your completion of the two assessment  tasks.  

An example of a reflective journal will be provided on the ACC8801 study desk. 

When completing your reflection journal on personal development, you should  consider what you have learned by completing the various topics of the five (5)  modules.  

  1. The concepts, essential principles, and stakeholders of corporate governance,  ethical and moral obligations, and social responsibility; 
  2. Corporate governance in Australia and the impact on board and committee  functions and structures and company officers' training, induction, and  behaviour to protect the interests of diverse stakeholders in the corporation; 
  3. Principles of good corporate governance and corporate disclosure requirements; 4. The main theories and elements of Corporate social responsibility (CSR); 5. Current and future directions Sustainability accounting and integrated reporting  of environmental, social, and governance (ESG). 

You also should reflect on how you could apply these learning outcomes to your  current employment situation or to a real world situation that you are likely to  experience in the near future. Specific prompts to help you through your reflective  journal are provided in the marking criteria at the end of this document.

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Assignment Solution

Part A- Report on Company's Sustainability reports comparison of two different years

Being an employee of a consumer watch group, I have assessed the sustainability performance of Wesfarmers group for 2014 and 2015 with regard to G4-GRI guidelines. The comparative study of reports of both the years is as follows

  1. Guidelines followed in preparing the report:

2015: Wesfarmers Ltd has followed G4- GRI guidelines- core options in, 10 accepted principles of the United Nations Global Compact, AA1000 Accountability Principles, its own criteria for its estimation of water use, waste, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employee numbers and London Benchmarking Group (‘LBG’) Guidance Manual, in respect of community contributions.                                     (Wesfarmers Group, 2015)

2014: Wesfarmers Ltd has followed G3-GRI guidelines with Application B-level, AA1000 Accountability Principles and LBG Guidelines.                         (Wesfarmers Group, 2014)

  • GRI – Content Index
G4-GRI Content Guideline Company's Reporting Status in 2015
General Standard Disclosures: 

The report should start with standard disclosures which focus upon profile of company and reporting practices

The report of company has disclosed all necessary standard disclosures which consist of strategy and profile, organisational profile, stakeholder engagement, governance and ethics.
Specific Standard Disclosure: 

The company has to identify its material aspects and the impacts they can have on product, service, people etc. The management has to explain that how it is managing its material social, economic and environmental issues. 

The company has disclosed the impact of material aspects and its indicator as well for each issue. E.g Greenhouse emissions can have significant impact on climate. Company is managing these emissions every year and over a period of 5 years, it has reduced by 37%. (Wesfarmers Group, 2015)
In Accordance criteria: 

There are two options to show the compliance of report with guidelines. (a) Core option: It contains the essential element of report. The Company must disclose at least one indicator for each material aspect. (b) Comprehensive option: Here the company has to report on all indicators of material aspects. 

Company has followed Core option has and it has mentioned more than one indicator for its material aspect.
Verification of report: 

The Company can claim GRI verification of report, if it has followed all he guidelines of either core option or comprehensive options. 

This report is ‘In Accordance’ with the GRI G4 Guidelines – Core option. This assessment by GRI indicates that all essential guidelines under core option have been followed.

If there is any identified omission in the disclosure, reason for the omission and explanation for the same should be given.

Omissions have been disclosed by company.  E.g. A Co. is supposed to mention the total environment expenditure in its report as per the guideline (Wesfarmers Group, 2015). In 2015, company did not mention it. it identified this omission and gave the explanation for same.

Company's reporting status in s2014: In 2014, G4-GRI Index was not applicable as the company was following G3 guidelines. It has adopted G3-GRI Index, and has reported on

(a) Standard Disclosure I – Company profile

(b) Standard Disclosure II – Disclosure on Management approach

(c) Standard Disclosure III – Disclosure on indicators

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