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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2021

Muhammad Arif, Christohper Gan and Muhammad Nadeem

Motivated by the enactment of non-financial reporting regulations by the European Parliament, this paper aims to investigate the impact of European Union (EU) directive…

Abstract

Purpose

Motivated by the enactment of non-financial reporting regulations by the European Parliament, this paper aims to investigate the impact of European Union (EU) directive 2014/95/EU on the quantity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures by the S&P Europe 350 index firms. This study also investigates whether the implementation of the non-financial information (NFI) reporting regulations influences the association between ESG disclosures and firms’ earnings risk.

Design/methodology/approach

To measure the impact of mandatory regulations on the quantity of ESG disclosures, this study estimates the average treatment effects using a propensity weighted sample. Then this study uses the difference-in-differences method to estimate the differences in the association between ESG disclosures and earning risk before and after implementation of the EU directive.

Findings

The results show a significant positive impact of the EU directive on the quantity of ESG disclosures for the sample European public-interest entities, which indicates that the mandatory NFI reporting requirements could boost the availability of increasingly demanded ESG related information. The enhanced association between the ESG disclosures and firms’ earnings risk during the post-directive period reveals that mandating NFI reporting also increases the quality of ESG disclosures.

Originality/value

Using the legitimacy and decision-usefulness theories, this study provides novel evidence concerning the impact of the EU directive on the quantity and quality of ESG disclosures.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2020

C. O. Mgbame, A. Aderin, Paschal Ohalehi and A.M. Chijoke-Mgbame

The study analyses the effectiveness of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework in fostering sustainability. The study utilises a library research by…

Abstract

The study analyses the effectiveness of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework in fostering sustainability. The study utilises a library research by surveying prior literature on issues related to the subject matter. Differing philosophical schools of thoughts of proponents and opponents of the current state of ESG reporting were analysed vis-à-vis their pros and cons, and the resulting outcome of the discourse utilised to set forth a position for engendering sustainable development. The study proposes the development of a holistic integrated framework that incorporates quantitative ESG disclosures with financial reporting, achieved through the monetisation of the ESG indices. The study outlines that despite the perceived herculean nature of the quantification of ESG indices, along with its incorporation into the financial reporting framework, the feat is nevertheless achievable. The integration might, however, be required to occur within phases, as well as a committed participation from the requisite stakeholders. Despite the seemingly precarious nature of the monetisation of the ESG indices, in our opinion, it remains the best bet yet for the promotion of true sustainability of not just the firm, but of the entire planet.

Details

Environmentalism and NGO Accountability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-002-8

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Olivia Giles and Daniel Murphy

This paper aims to explore any potential link between the corporate issue of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) with a changed environmental, social…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore any potential link between the corporate issue of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) with a changed environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting focus as part of a complementary communicative legitimation strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal content analysis of the annual reports of three sample Australian corporations was undertaken, measuring changes in ESG disclosure levels and disclosure focus around the time a SLAPP was issued by each sample firm.

Findings

This paper provides support for the contention that both the number of ESG disclosures and the type of ESG disclosures changed after the sample firms issued SLAPPs.

Research limitations/implications

A number of limitations are identified within the paper, including difficulties identifying when SLAPPs are initiated.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first investigation of the relationship between SLAPPs and ESG reporting, and this study helps open up a new area of research into how ESG reporting is used by corporations in a strategic manner.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 14 September 2018

Thinh Hoang

The belief that modern organisations have responsibility for their stakeholders, community and society has existed for many decades (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). In this…

Abstract

The belief that modern organisations have responsibility for their stakeholders, community and society has existed for many decades (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). In this context, there is increasing demand for the non-financial factors (e.g. corporate social responsibility (CSR), natural and human capitals) from stakeholders for making the appropriate business decision (Eccles & Saltzman, 2011). This information of the organisation is therefore required to not only disclose relevant and reliable information, but also monitor corporate executives.

In the other side, corporation reports are criticised as they do not provide the whole business picture of the way organisations organise financial and non-financial elements to creating value yet. It has ignored or reported just a part of the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impact made by an organisation (Flower, 2015). As a consequence, there has been a call for improving firm report on environmental, CSR and corporate governance in particular, and additional factors that can potentially impact on business performance in general.

Recently, various corporation reports related to environmental, social activities and sustainability have been introduced, and integrated reporting (IR) is one of them. IR framework is introduced as a new standard for corporate communication. It is ‘a concise communication about how an organisation’s strategy, governance, performance and prospects lead to the creation of value over the short, medium and long term’. A number of important outcomes are attributed to IR including satisfying the information needs of stakeholders and driving organisational change towards more sustainable outcomes (Eccles & Krzus, 2010); reducing reputational risk and allowing companies to make better financial and non-financial decisions; and helping to break down operational and reporting silos in organisations and improving systems and processes (Stubbs & Higgins, 2012). Since the IR emphasise the integration of financial and non-financial data into one report, it calls for experience and knowledge from not only the board as management role but also accountant as practice role to deal with this emerging issue.

This chapter considers the problem of the link between how to reporting the ESG information, the management role board and practice role of accountants in organisation to successfully embed ESG information into the overall corporation strategy. We identify the issues with the demand of ESG information from stakeholders and the lack of connecting and integrating the environmental and corporate social sustainability information into organisation report. We explore the development of IR and integrated thinking (InTh) and the opportunities for board in integrating ESG information into practices and eliminating the ESG and reputational risks. Finally, we consider how management accountant via adopting IR and practising InTh can act as the important role in providing and delivering the better ESG information to stakeholders.

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Muhammad Arif, Aymen Sajjad, Sanaullah Farooq, Maira Abrar and Ahmed Shafique Joyo

The purpose of this research is to ascertain the impact of audit committee (AC) activism and independence on the quality and quantity of environmental, social and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to ascertain the impact of audit committee (AC) activism and independence on the quality and quantity of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures for energy sector firms in Australia. This paper aims to understand how AC attributes such as meeting frequency, and the number of independent directors influence the compliance with the global reporting initiative (GRI) guidelines and quantity of ESG disclosures.

Design/methodology/approach

Bloomberg ESG disclosure scores and company reported AC attributes are collected and analysed using the pooled ordinary least square (OLS) regression framework with Petersen’s (2009) technique by using a two-dimensional cluster at the firm and year level. Further, this paper uses a lagged independent variable and two-stage least square approach to address endogeneity concerns.

Findings

The results show a significant positive effect of AC activism and independence on the level of compliance with the GRI guidelines, indicating the favourable effect of AC attributes on ESG reporting quality. Likewise, AC attributes positively affect the quantity of ESG disclosures. Notably, the impact of AC attributes is more pronounced on environmental disclosures.

Originality/value

This paper validates the significance of the management control mechanism in improving the quality and quantity of ESG disclosures for an environmentally sensitive sector, hence offering a potential answer to reduce agency and legitimacy issues for the sensitive industry firms.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Daniel Murphy and Dianne McGrath

The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding of the motivations for corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding of the motivations for corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a conceptual exploration of the motivation for corporations to provide ESG reports and proposes deterrence theory and avoidance as a complementary explanatory motivation for such reports.

Findings

Within this paper it is argued that part of the motivation for some corporations to increase ESG disclosures is to avoid, or mitigate, the risk of class actions and the associated financial penalties. This paper proposes that in Australia the deterrence impact, and ancillary avoidance behaviour, of civil litigation class action provides a further motivation for improving both corporate ESG disclosure and sustainability performance.

Originality/value

This paper extends the social and environmental accounting (SEA) reporting literature by proposing deterrence theory and avoidance as a corporate motivation for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting. Deterrence is proposed as a different, yet complementary, motivation to the oft‐cited variations of stakeholder and legitimacy theory which are dominant in the SEA reporting motivation literature.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Manish Bansal, Taab Ahmad Samad and Hajam Abid Bashir

This study aims to provide a convincing argument behind the mixed findings on the association between sustainability reporting and firm performance by investigating the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to provide a convincing argument behind the mixed findings on the association between sustainability reporting and firm performance by investigating the possibility of a non-linear relationship through a threshold model.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used (Hansen’s 1999) threshold framework to investigate the relationship between firm performance and sustainability reporting using a sample of 210 Bombay Stock Exchange-listed firms spanning over 10 years from March 2010 to March 2019. This framework helps to test the threshold effect’s presence, estimate the threshold value and check the authenticity of the estimated threshold value.

Findings

Sustainability reporting has a differential threshold impact on the different indicators of firm performance. On the one hand, the authors’ results illustrate that the firms’ operating performance is positively impacted if and only if the sustainability reporting crosses a certain threshold. On the other hand, sustainability reporting positively impacts firms’ market performance only up to a cut-off point.

Practical implications

Managers should strive to balance sustainability reporting to reap its desired benefits on firm performance.

Originality/value

This study explores the possible non-linearity in the association between firm performance and sustainability reporting and explains the relationship’s inconclusive results. Further, this study explores the field in the novel emerging economy with unique institutional settings that mandate spending on sustainability activities.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2020

Amina Buallay, Sayed M. Fadel, Jasim Yusuf Al-Ajmi and Shahrokh Saudagaran

Sustainability reporting has been widely adopted by firms worldwide given stakeholders’ need for more transparency on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability reporting has been widely adopted by firms worldwide given stakeholders’ need for more transparency on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. This study aims to investigate the relationship between ESG and bank’s operational (return on assets [ROA]), financial (return on equity [ROE]) and market performance (Tobin’s Q) in a group of emerging countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines 59 banks listed on the stock exchanges of MENA countries over a period of 10 years (2008-2017). Only conventional banks with all data for at least two years are included in the sample. The core independent variable is ESG scores, and the dependent variables are ROA, ROE and Tobin’s Q. This study uses bank- and country-specific control variables to measure the relationship between sustainability reporting and bank’s performance.

Findings

The findings from the empirical results demonstrate a significant positive impact of ESG on performance and economic benefits to shareholders. However, the relationship between ESG disclosures varies individually; unlike the majority of published research, the authors found that social performance plays a negative role in determining bank’s profitability and value. Furthermore, the authors present evidence in support of the impact of bank- and country-specific factors in determining bank’s performance.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the impact of sustainability reporting on banks’ performance in the MENA region. It provides evidence that questions the positive relationship between sustainability reporting and financial measures of performance.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Dominic S.B. Soh and Nonna Martinov-Bennie

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature and extent of internal audit functions’ (IAFs) involvement in environmental, social and governance assurance (ESG

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4309

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the nature and extent of internal audit functions’ (IAFs) involvement in environmental, social and governance assurance (ESG) and consulting in Australia. To identify emerging priorities, and the profession’s capacity to respond to these, the paper also explores internal audit practitioners’ perceptions of the current and future importance of these issues and the adequacy of their skills and expertise in meeting the challenges associated with their involvement in these areas.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 100 Chief Audit Executives and internal audit service provider partners through a survey.

Findings

Governance issues are a key area of focus for respondents’ assurance and consulting efforts, followed by social and environmental issues, respectively. While governance issues are perceived to be of greatest current importance to IAFs, environmental issues are most commonly expected to increase in importance over the next five years, and are reported to be in greatest need of further development of IAFs’ skills and expertise.

Research limitations/implications

As the corporate landscape and expectations around transparency and accountability increase, the internal audit profession needs to address the current perceived skills gap in their ability to provide assurance and consulting on ESG issues to ensure their continued relevance and ability to meet stakeholders’ needs and expectations in providing effective integrated assurance and in contributing to internal improvements.

Originality/value

This paper provides initial empirical evidence of the nature and extent of internal audit’s involvement in ESG assurance and consulting.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2021

Amina Buallay

This study investigates the impact of sustainability reporting on agriculture industries’ performance (operational, financial and market).

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the impact of sustainability reporting on agriculture industries’ performance (operational, financial and market).

Design/methodology/approach

Using data culled from 1426 observations from 31 different countries for ten years (2008–2017), an independent variable derived from the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) score is regressed against dependent manufacture performance indicator variables [return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE) and Tobin's Q (TQ)]. Two types of control variables complete the regression analysis in this study: firm-specific and macroeconomic.

Findings

The findings elicited from the empirical results demonstrate that there is no significant relationship between ESG and operational performance (ROA), financial performance (ROE) and market performance (TQ). Surprisingly, when each component of ESG is regressed separately against the performance, the results reveal that governance disclosure has a positive impact on market performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study captures only quantity rather than the quality of ESG disclosure. Therefore, the results of this study may not necessarily give the “true” motivation for firms to disclose sustainability activities.

Originality/value

This study highlights the agriculture industry management lacunae manifesting in terms of the weak nexus between each component of ESG and agriculture industries’ performance.

Details

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-0839

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