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The climate-related information in the changing EU directive on non-financial reporting and disclosure: first evidence by Italian large companies

Rosa Lombardi (Department of Law and Economics of Productive Activities, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
Federico Schimperna (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Paola Paoloni (University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
Michele Galeotti (University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)

Journal of Applied Accounting Research

ISSN: 0967-5426

Article publication date: 8 September 2021

Issue publication date: 1 February 2022

2033

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the quality and quantity of climate-related information disclosed by public interest entities (PIEs) in the non-financial disclosure scenario. Thus, this paper aims at drafting the state of the art on what is climate-related information disclosed by PIEs in the changing EU non-financial regulation assuming the Italian scenario and the industrial industry as significant in achieving the research aims.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the content analysis composing the sample of 34 large listed companies (i.e. PIEs) belonging to the industrial sector in Italy. The authors choose the Italian PIEs’ sustainability reports published in 2019 after the adoption of the EU directive and its guidelines. The authors adopted a coding and classification system, investigating the climate-related information through a systematic, objective and reliable method. The authors defined 99 indicators along the structure of the European Commission's guidelines and the indicator of disclosure, climate-related information indicator (CII). The framework mainly derives from the corporate disclosure theory and legitimacy and stakeholders' theories.

Findings

The results show the lack of several required climate-related information or a not in-depth presentation of information. Thus, findings are interesting in emphasizing that the current climate-related disclosure is at an early stage in complying with the European Commission's guidelines. Additionally, the findings enlarge previous theories on corporate disclosure, proposing new insights in the light of the recent interest in climate-related information.

Research limitations/implications

Evidence contributes to extending the existing literature, drafting the state of the art of what is the quality and the quantity of the climate-related information in the corporate disclosure in the European scenario.

Practical implications

This paper is directed to propose the state of the climate-related disclosure following the EU directive guidelines, proposing some evidence to support the path toward the integrations of information by several parts (e.g. companies, regulators and so on).

Originality/value

The paper is a useful baseline for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and regulators in understanding actions to adopt in the climate-related disclosure and what could be the impact of forthcoming regulations in the field, also having some metrics (e.g. score value of disclosure, the indicator of climate-related information disclosure – CII).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The investigation conducted in this paper is connected to the wide research path actived by the project financed by Sapienza University of Rome TOrnado or SUnshine? Mixing Accounting Regulation and Corporate Accountability in the Era of Non-Financial Information, Intangibles and Digitalization.

Citation

Lombardi, R., Schimperna, F., Paoloni, P. and Galeotti, M. (2022), "The climate-related information in the changing EU directive on non-financial reporting and disclosure: first evidence by Italian large companies", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 250-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAAR-04-2021-0117

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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