The purpose of this paper is to explore the evolution of greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting quality and to determine whether the evolution of reporting quality is linked with the type of information reported based on the “search”, “experience”, and “credence” typology.
The method is based on the content analysis of GHG reporting in 245 sustainability reports by 45 oil and gas companies between 1998 and 2010. The content analysis disclosure index developed links GHG reporting requirements with seven quality dimensions. The information associated with each item on the content analysis index is classified as “search”, “experience” or “credence”. Statistical analysis is used to determine whether any significant change occurred in either overall GHG reporting quality or in the quality of reporting in any of the individual dimensions of quality over the period of the study.
GHG reporting quality has not improved significantly between 1998 and 2010. The quality of reporting is not the same in each of the seven dimensions of quality and this can be explained by information typology.
This paper provides the first longitudinal analysis of the quality of GHG reporting. The methodology developed advances current measures of reporting quality by linking reporting requirements with particular quality dimensions. The results show that the type of information is important in terms of quality evolution and that this can dictate the measures required to improve quality.
Comyns, B. and Figge, F. (2015), "Greenhouse gas reporting quality in the oil and gas industry: A longitudinal study using the typology of “search”, “experience” and “credence” information", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 403-433. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-10-2013-1498
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