Environmental reporting in the Australian mining industry: Complying with regulation or meeting international best practice?

Overell, M., Chapple, L. J. and Clarkson, P. M. (2008) Environmental reporting in the Australian mining industry: Complying with regulation or meeting international best practice?. Australian Business Law Review, 36 2: 137-154.

Author Overell, M.
Chapple, L. J.
Clarkson, P. M.
Title Environmental reporting in the Australian mining industry: Complying with regulation or meeting international best practice?
Journal name Australian Business Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0310-1053
Publication date 2008
Year available 2008
Volume 36
Issue 2
Start page 137
End page 154
Total pages 18
Editor Baxt, R.
Place of publication Sydney, NSW
Publisher Thomson Lawbook Co
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
849899 Environmentally Sustainable Mineral Resource Activities not elsewhere classified
150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
Abstract It is nearly 10 years since the introduction of s 299(1)(f) Corporations Act, which requires the disclosure of information regarding a company's environmental performance within its annual report. This provision has generated considerable debate in the years since its introduction, fundamentally between proponents of either a voluntary or mandatory environmental reporting framework. This study examines the adequacy of the current regulatory framework. The environmental reporting practices of 24 listed companies in the resources industries are assessed relative to a standard set by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. These Guidelines are argued to represent "international best practice" in environmental reporting and a "scorecard" approach is used to score the quality of disclosure according to this voluntary benchmark. Larger companies in the sample tend to report environmental information over and above the level required by legislation. Some, but not all companies present a stand-alone environmental/sustainability report. However, smaller companies provide minimal information in compliance with s 299(1)(f). The findings indicate that "international best practice" environmental reporting is unlikely to be achieved by Australian companies under the current regulatory framework. In the current regulatory environment that scrutinises s 299(1)(f), this article provides some preliminary evidence of the quality of disclosures generated in the Australian market.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Mon, 14 Jul 2008, 15:20:19 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School