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Re-Inventing Realities

ISBN: 978-0-76231-154-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-307-5

ISSN: 1041-7060

Publication date: 30 December 2004


This research investigates whether firms that voluntarily publish environmental reports to supplement their annual financial statements disclose significantly more sustainability data than others. A matched-pair sample of companies, drawn from the EPA’s list of the 500 largest (volumetric basis) U.S. polluters, that published such environmental reports during 2001 or 2002 is used to assess the type and level of non-environmental social accounting disclosures in five different areas: employee safety/health, workforce and supplier diversity, product safety, community involvement, and energy usage. Fifty-two environmental report producers were matched with non-reporters based on total asset size and SIC. Content analysis was used to assess the substance of sample firm reporting. The results show highly significant differences in social accounting reporting, with the environmental report publishers disclosing more sustainability data in a wider range than their matched counterparts.


Freedman, M. and Stagliano, A. (2004), "ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING AND THE RESURRECTION OF SOCIAL ACCOUNTING", Lehman, C., Tinker, T., Merino, B. and Neimark, M. (Ed.) Re-Inventing Realities (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 131-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1041-7060(04)10007-2

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