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A comparative study of the contents of corporate social responsibility reports of UK companies

Samuel O. Idowu (Department of Accounting, Banking and Financial Systems, London Metropolitan University, London, UK)
Brian A. Towler (Department of Business and Professional Studies, Guildford College, Guildford, UK)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

Abstract

The last few decades have seen an increase in awareness on the part of corporate entities in Western democracies that they are morally obliged to give something back to society. An entity that fails to make a positive contribution to society will be perceived as being socially irresponsible! To demonstrate that they “care” about the people and environment they operate in, organisations have taken different courses of action. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports which have now become an annual report in addition to the traditional annual financial reports is one of the vehicles used to demonstrate how caring they have been over the financial period that has just ended and how they intend to continue to be even more so in future periods. The study looks at CSR reports of different companies across different industries in the UK. Notes that there are two distinct practices adopted when reporting on CSR matters. Some companies issue separate reports for their CSR activities whilst others devote a section in their annual reports for providing information on these activities. Also notes that all companies in the survey recognise the enormous benefits that can emanate from making known their CSR policies and activities. It can be revealed from the study that UK CSR reports disclose information about the contributions an entity has made during the year that has just ended in four main perspectives, which are environment, community, marketplace and workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Idowu, S.O. and Towler, B.A. (2004), "A comparative study of the contents of corporate social responsibility reports of UK companies", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 420-437. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830410540153

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited