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The Effect of Mandatory Publication of Nonfinancial Disclosure in Europe on Sustainability Reporting Quality: First Insights about Italian and German Companies

Non-Financial Disclosure and Integrated Reporting: Practices and Critical Issues

ISBN: 978-1-83867-964-4, eISBN: 978-1-83867-963-7

Publication date: 12 March 2020

Abstract

Public-interest entities – among which are listed companies – are obliged to publish nonfinancial disclosure in some countries and regions. The European Commission established mandatory nonfinancial disclosure by Directive 2014/95/EU. While a large body of literature was developed on sustainability reporting quality (SRQ) in voluntary context, evidence about the effect of mandatory nonfinancial disclosure on SRQ is controversial and previous experiences worldwide did not make clear if obligatoriness improves SRQ. This chapter aims to bridge the gap of empirical evidence about this phenomenon in European countries, focusing on first implementation of new legislation by Italian and German companies. The research has an explorative character and it adopts content analysis methods performed on sustainability reporting practices of companies listed in FTSE-MIB and DAX 30. The analysis aims to understand if obligatoriness affects SRQ, causes some changes in reporting practices such as harmonizing Italian and German ones by performing a cross-country comparison. The findings suggest that obligatoriness improves reporting quality and, above all, it fills the gap between different countries by fostering the adoption of international guidelines and the consequent introduction of some content, such as materiality analysis and quantitative measures of social and environmental performance.

Keywords

Citation

Mion, G. and Adaui, C.R.L. (2020), "The Effect of Mandatory Publication of Nonfinancial Disclosure in Europe on Sustainability Reporting Quality: First Insights about Italian and German Companies", Songini, L., Pistoni, A., Baret, P. and Kunc, M.H. (Ed.) Non-Financial Disclosure and Integrated Reporting: Practices and Critical Issues (Studies in Managerial and Financial Accounting, Vol. 34), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 55-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-351220200000034005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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