Environmental reporting and its relation to corporate environmental performance

Clarkson, Peter M., Overell, Michael B. and Chapple, Larelle (2011) Environmental reporting and its relation to corporate environmental performance. Abacus, 47 1: 27-60. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6281.2011.00330.x

Author Clarkson, Peter M.
Overell, Michael B.
Chapple, Larelle
Title Environmental reporting and its relation to corporate environmental performance
Journal name Abacus   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0001-3072
Publication date 2011-03-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-6281.2011.00330.x
Volume 47
Issue 1
Start page 27
End page 60
Total pages 34
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This study examines how both the level and the nature of environmental information voluntarily disclosed by Australian firms relate to their underlying environmental performance. Disclosure is scored using an index developed by Clarkson et al. (2008) based on Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines and the environmental performance measure is based on emission data available from the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). The sample consists of 51 firms that reported to the NPI in both 2002 and 2006. The findings are as follows. First, descriptive statistics indicate that while there was modest improvement in disclosure between 2002 and 2006, the highest disclosure score obtained was just slightly in excess of 50% of the maximum available based on the GRI Guidelines. Second, the results consistently indicate that not only do firms with a higher pollution propensity disclose more environmental information; they also rely on disclosures that the GRI views as inherently more objective and verifiable. Taken together, these results suggest that concerns regarding the reliability of voluntary environmental disclosures in the Australian context remain valid and thereby potentially signal a need for both enhanced mandatory reporting requirements and improved enforcement. In this regard, our study also informs regulatory policy on mandatory disclosures of environmental performance.
Keyword Environmental disclosure
Environmental performance
Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines
National Pollution Inventory
Pollution propensity
Sustainability reporting
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Created: Fri, 16 Sep 2011, 21:32:54 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School