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The contents of the annual reports of listed mining companies as well as of the Top 100 industrial companies in South Africa were analysed to determine how the disclosure…
The contents of the annual reports of listed mining companies as well as of the Top 100 industrial companies in South Africa were analysed to determine how the disclosure of environmental information has changed over time. Disclosure of general environmental information increased until 1999 and then stabilised at that level. The initial increase in the disclosure of specific environmental information, such as measurable objectives and environmental performance, was followed by a decrease from 1998 onwards. A possible explanation could be that the lack of legal requirements with regard to the reporting of environmental information enables companies to decide what to report and what the extent of the reporting should be. They can therefore elect not to report specific and sometimes sensitive information, because stakeholders could perceive such information to be negative and it could therefore have a negative impact on the corporate image.
This research investigates whether firms that voluntarily publish environmental reports to supplement their annual financial statements disclose significantly more…
This research investigates whether firms that voluntarily publish environmental reports to supplement their annual financial statements disclose significantly more sustainability data than others. A matched-pair sample of companies, drawn from the EPA’s list of the 500 largest (volumetric basis) U.S. polluters, that published such environmental reports during 2001 or 2002 is used to assess the type and level of non-environmental social accounting disclosures in five different areas: employee safety/health, workforce and supplier diversity, product safety, community involvement, and energy usage. Fifty-two environmental report producers were matched with non-reporters based on total asset size and SIC. Content analysis was used to assess the substance of sample firm reporting. The results show highly significant differences in social accounting reporting, with the environmental report publishers disclosing more sustainability data in a wider range than their matched counterparts.
Previous research has highlighted a contradiction in regard to environmental reporting in South Africa. Managers, who can influence decisions regarding disclosure, express…
Previous research has highlighted a contradiction in regard to environmental reporting in South Africa. Managers, who can influence decisions regarding disclosure, express the view that more environmental reporting is needed, yet very little such reporting is done. A questionnaire was sent to every company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) with the request that the financial director should complete it. The questionnaire set out to establish whether managers are still as positive about environmental reporting as reported in previous research findings and, furthermore, to determine the reasons for the dearth of environmental reporting. Managers are still as positive as before about environmental reporting. The reasons for not reporting range from the contention that data is not available, that there are no legal requirements and that there is no demand for the data to the contention that it is not applicable to the particular industry and that costs exceed benefits. Most respondents do not regard the fear of liability to be a very important reason for non‐disclosure. The most important reason for non‐disclosure is that there is no legal requirement in respect of disclosure. This reason, together with the positive attitude of directors towards environmental reporting in general and towards reporting on a compulsory basis in particular, makes a strong case for the introduction of legislation in this regard. The introduction of legislation could be achieved by amending the Fourth Schedule of the Companies’ Act or the introduction by The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) of a statement of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) on environmental disclosure.
The objective of this chapter is to analyse the impact of France’s ‘Grenelle 2’ law of 2010, which applies to environmental accounting disclosures (EADs). More…
The objective of this chapter is to analyse the impact of France’s ‘Grenelle 2’ law of 2010, which applies to environmental accounting disclosures (EADs). More specifically, it seeks to observe whether the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ ‘comply or explain’ model, transposed into the French regulatory framework, influences the disclosure strategies of firms that are listed on a regulated market.
Drawing on the theoretical framework of legitimacy and the concept of normativity, an empirical study is conducted on a sample of 96 French firms listed on the SBF index between 2009 and 2014. The effect of regulation is assessed by a content analysis of EAD in annual reports, examining changes in disclosure practices and the contents of disclosures.
The main results show that explanations for the absence of EAD showed a significant increase after the introduction of the law. We also observe that the new rules had no effect on the number of firms making EADs, although the quality of the disclosures declined. Finally, the results also concern practices of non-disclosure without any accompanying explanation.
The limitations of this study relate to the choices underlying the classifications and observations made during the content analysis.
This study has social relevance in that it supplies information for assessing the transposition of European directives into French law.
This study extends research concerning environmental disclosures by examining a recent accounting object. It also continues the debate on normativity, with its analysis of disclosures subject to a changing regulatory framework.
This study aims to examine the disclosure determinants of environmental performance indicators (EPIs) for a sample of US firms to understand if these disclosures are…
This study aims to examine the disclosure determinants of environmental performance indicators (EPIs) for a sample of US firms to understand if these disclosures are reliable or whether they are biased towards the reporting of positive information.
The study uses a panel data analysis to examine the association between firms’ EPIs disclosures and their environmental performances, and other economic and legitimacy factors.
The results show that firms’ disclosures are not associated with the level of environmental performance and that firms continue to provide EPI information even if they witness a decline in their environmental performance. The evidence suggests that firms’ environmental disclosures are reliable and indicative of their environmental performance.
The findings suggest that mandating EPI disclosures may increase the level of the information reported and reduce firms’ discretion over the disclosure of such information.
Reporting of EPIs is directly linked to firms’ environmental performances. By examining the association between EPI disclosures and environmental performance, the study contributes to the ongoing debate about firms’ reporting and whether it is informative to its stakeholders or whether firms use this type of information to legitimize their operations and portray it in a positive light.
An understanding of disclosure themes used in annual reports can provide a foundation for improving communication of environmental information. The objective of this study…
An understanding of disclosure themes used in annual reports can provide a foundation for improving communication of environmental information. The objective of this study is to provide insight into environmental disclosure themes that are used to provide management communication in the financial and non-financial sections of corporate annual reports. The study also explores the relationship between these disclosure themes and environmental performance. Findings from a sample of 53 U.S. companies in four major industry groups suggest that environmental disclosures in the financial section of annual reports contain information focused on expenditures and contingencies. Environmental disclosures in the non-financial section of the annual report mostly contain information about pollution abatement and various other environmental data. The highest perceived quality of disclosure is associated with environmental expenditures and contingencies. Other environmental information and pollution abatement disclosures appear to be of lower quality. These findings support previous studies showing that there is little relationship between environmental disclosures and environmental performance.
This paper examines factors that are associated with the level of a firm's environmental disclosure in the footnotes of its annual report financial statements and its 10-K…
This paper examines factors that are associated with the level of a firm's environmental disclosure in the footnotes of its annual report financial statements and its 10-K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The levels of environmental disclosure are measured using the Wiseman scale (Wiseman, 1982). An N-chotomous probit analysis is utilized where the level of disclosure is the dependent variable, and the independent variables are firm characteristics including: (1) institutional blockholder stock ownership, (2) amount of foreign concentration, (3) earnings volatility, (4) profitability, (5) leverage, (6) future need for debt financing, (7) firm size, and (8) industry membership.
The results indicate that higher foreign concentration, and to some extent, higher earnings volatility are associated with less environmental disclosure. These results provide evidence that firms with higher foreign concentration are more reluctant to disclose environmental information because they are under higher scrutiny from other countries and the international community. Additionally, it is probable that firms with a more volatile earnings process are less willing to disclose potential environmental costs and obligations because these additional expenditures can have an especially adverse effect during low-earnings periods.
An environmental accident at a Placer Dome mine triggered a contagion effect across the Canadian mining industry. The decline in equity prices was moderated by prior…
An environmental accident at a Placer Dome mine triggered a contagion effect across the Canadian mining industry. The decline in equity prices was moderated by prior disclosure of a high-level commitment to environmental management. Investors appear to interpret this information as a signal of expertise in the management of environmental risks and costs. The same companies are positioned to make the most credible financial disclosures about environmental management, and yet the evidence suggests that financial disclosures themselves have a negative impact on company value. There may be a miscommunication between investors and analysts on the one hand and mining company executives on the other, which could explain why mining company managers report their companies’ shares are undervalued.
There are growing concerns about the environmental activities of firms and their accountability towards reporting on such activities against the background of the…
There are growing concerns about the environmental activities of firms and their accountability towards reporting on such activities against the background of the voluntary reporting regimes. As a result, the motivation for this study is to investigate the role of NGOs' (nongovernmental organisations) engagement in influencing firms' environmental accounting disclosures using data of listed firms in Ghana. Environmental disclosure scores were constructed through content analyses from 422 annual reports of the listed firms with NGO engagements surrogated with dummy variables, capturing firms' acknowledgement of their engagements with NGOs and the data analysed using the two-step generalised method of moments. The results provided evidence to show that NGOs' engagement is positive and significantly influence firms' environmental reporting practices. Further analyses confirming profitability, leverage and market share prices among others are significant for explaining environmental disclosures. This is regarded as the first study to investigate the relationship between NGOs as stakeholders and the quality of environmental accounting disclosures. The findings provided comprehensive implications for policies that could further strengthen pressure groups to deal with environmental degradation through firms' activities.
We investigate the state of environmental financial reporting since the increased regulation imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies…
We investigate the state of environmental financial reporting since the increased regulation imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies during the 1990s by examining mandatory environmental disclosures for a sample of petroleum firms. Our results indicate that while the majority of firms stated that they accrued remediation liabilities and environmental exit costs, only about half or less of these firms disclosed the amount of the accrual, even though disclosure is required if the amount is material. Consistent with prior research, we find that cross-sectional variation in disclosure is positively related to firm size and financial leverage. Our results show that environmental disclosures increased during the 1990s, concurrent with increased regulatory pressure and corresponding threats to oil companies’ legitimacy. Firms’ disclosure levels in 1998 were strongly related to their disclosure levels in 1989 –i.e., those companies that reported more (less) information in 1989 did the same in 1998. Thus, individual firms appear to have distinctive environmental disclosure policies.