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Sustainability Performance and Reporting – A Strategic Issue for Electric Car Automakers



The rapid expansion of the electric vehicle (EV) markets over the last decade (due to the combined effect of technology advancement and rising sustainability concern) is part of bigger transformations – towards electric/net-zero mobility and sustainability – that got momentum and (both public and policy) validation. In this context, the companies in the auto industry – that have traditionally been part of the “sustainability problem” – are being urged to join the “sustainable solution” the EVs are part of. Their sustainability-related practices and impacts are being highly challenged, while increasingly under scrutiny, making sustainability reporting a strategically significant endeavor. The paper aims to explore the sustainability performance and reporting of the global (top five) electric car automakers (that are both “born EV” and “traditional”) – in order to compare and contrast their strategic perspectives on sustainability performance and reporting. The S&P Global ESG Scores have been used as proxy for the sustainability performance of the five companies, and the analysis was detailed to the level of the three dimensions and nine criteria of S&P Global ESG Scores. As for the assessment of sustainability reporting, a qualitative analysis of the non-financial (Sustainability/CSR/Impact) Reports of the five companies was performed – using QDA Miner.