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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.
This investigation/report/reflection was motivated largely by the occasion of the first Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) “Summer School” in…
This investigation/report/reflection was motivated largely by the occasion of the first Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) “Summer School” in North America.1 But its roots reach down as well to other recent reflection/investigation pieces, in particular, Mathews (1997), Gray (2002, 2006), and Deegan and Soltys (2007). The last of these authors note (p. 82) that CSEAR Summer Schools were initiated in Australasia, at least partly as a means to spur interest and activity in social and environmental accounting (SEA) research. So, too, was the first North American CSEAR Summer School.2 We believe, therefore, that it is worthwhile to attempt in some way to identify where SEA currently stands as a field of interest within the broader academic accounting domain in Canada and the United States.3 As well, however, we believe this is a meaningful time for integrating our views on the future of our chosen academic sub-discipline with those of Gray (2002), Deegan and Soltys (2007), and others. Thus, as the title suggests, we seek to identify (1) who the SEA researchers in North America are; (2) the degree to which North American–based accounting research journals publish SEA-related research; and (3) where we, the SEA sub-discipline within North America, might be headed. We begin with the who.