This thesis aims to explore and understand the use of indicators in sustainability reports
produced by 13 corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry. The literature
review demonstrated that little work has been done to understand the use of indicators
and reporting within this industry.
Three research questions are addressed through a content analysis of sustainability
reports. The analysis shows that when looking at indicators based on the common
themes or sustainability pillar they address, there appears to be consistency across the
industry. However, when looking at indicators individually, there is a great deal of
inconsistency making comparison of reports and benchmarking incredibly difficult.
This research has a number of practical implications, particularly, it is the first
comprehensive review of indicators being disclosed in the industry and can be used by
a variety of stakeholders. Further, this research sets the foundation for a number of
other possible streams of future research.