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The objective of this study is to provide insights into insiders' perspectives on environmental accounting disclosures, which is relatively under-investigated. Based on…
The objective of this study is to provide insights into insiders' perspectives on environmental accounting disclosures, which is relatively under-investigated. Based on insights from key managers, we provide information on company decisions and practices related to the data disclosed in annual reports. More specifically, we explore how regulation guidance affects and shapes disclosure strategies.
Drawing on the normativity framework, our research design involves a multiple-case study focusing on eight French listed firms in sensitive industries. We primarily build our investigation on the analysis of annual reports. Semi-structured interviews with 20 key managers belonging to these same firms provide interpretative explanations of the disclosed (and un-disclosed) figures.
Our main findings show that the disclosure of environmental accounting information (EAI) is still in its infancy. Weak definitions and poor guidance in regulations explain the limitations in disclosure and induce interpretative strategies depending on the type of data to be disclosed in the companies' annual reports. We document that separate logics drive environmental expenditure and environmental liability disclosures in many respects.
This study should be useful for regulators because environmental accounting standards are currently subject to change and helpful for users because of the careful consideration of disclosures.
Our research is timely and adds to the growing body of research on regulation. We document how a common regulation may lead to interpretative strategies by different actors and networks of actors, thereby contributing to shaping EAI norms.
The purpose of this study is to examine whether different levels of assurance statements of environmental disclosures affect investment choices in the French context where…
The purpose of this study is to examine whether different levels of assurance statements of environmental disclosures affect investment choices in the French context where environmental assurance was voluntary until 2012 and became regulated and mandatory since then.
The authors conducted an experiment during the voluntary context – which represents the vast majority of countries – on a sample of 108 financial analysts.
Environmental disclosure has a positive impact on investment recommendations. More surprisingly, financial analysts are less likely to give recommendations in favor of a company that displays environmental disclosure with low-level assurance than for a company with no assurance statement at all.
When assurance is voluntary and there are at least two levels, this study results suggest that firms should avoid selecting the lowest level of assurance because it negatively affects investor decisions. From this perspective, firms should devote sufficient effort and resources to obtain at least Level 2 environmental disclosure assurance.
Given the recommendations made by financial analysts, the authors could expect that firms may prefer to engage in a higher level of assurance or to provide no assurance rather than minimize their financial efforts and resources to select a lower level of voluntary assurance regarding environmental disclosure.
This study has implications for the voluntary assurance practices of environmental disclosure and can provide support to regulators to promote higher standards in environmental assurance. It documents the relevance to increase the level of requested assurance for environmental disclosure.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, very few studies have examined the additional effect of assurance on environmental disclosure in investors’ decisions. The experiment is conducted with financial analysts in the context of voluntary assurance.