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The purpose of this paper is to identify the existing status of environmental disclosure practices in Indian core sector companies.
Waste disposal costs and other environmental liability costs are crucial information to be disclosed by core sector companies as they have direct impact on the environment. A content analysis of the annual reports of select core sector companies across four industries, viz. Oil and petrochemicals, Mining and minerals, Steel and Cement, has been undertaken to study the extent and nature of their environmental disclosures in their annual reports for 2007‐2008.
The study shows that the level of disclosure of environmental information varies across industries as well as companies and the information revealed in the annual reports is found to be more qualitative than quantitative.
The disclosure made by the core sector companies does not adequately cover the informational needs of stakeholders. However, the increasing disclosure trends can be considered as a first step toward improved environmental disclosure. The study therefore supports the need for a suitable framework for environmental disclosure, such that all the stakeholders can use it as credible information.
This study contributes to the literature by evaluating voluntary environmental disclosures made by Indian core sector companies in their annual report. Further work based on this preliminary finding may be done to assess the status of environmental disclosure for a larger sample of Indian core sector companies.