Corporate Environmental Reporting Practices

Project and Seminar Material for Accountancy / Accounting

Project and Seminar Material for Accountancy / Accounting


Abstract


Environmental issues have emerged in recent decades as a major aspect of the discussion of the problems of economic growth and development. Environmental problems associated with industrial activities in the final decades of the last century have heightened public concerns about the non-financial performance of corporations and increased pressure for the disclosure of environmental information. Over the past decades, there have been plethoras of literature on corporate environmental disclosures, including studies majorly from developed countries, while the same is not true of developing countries, particularly Nigeria. Moreso, while there is an extensive research on the role of the Global Reporting Initiative and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guidelines in determining corporate environmental performance indicators and the extent of disclosures in annual report in developed economies, in contrast, there is a dearth of studies conducted in the context of developing economies. To this end, this research investigated the extent and nature of corporate environmental reporting
practice among listed firms in Nigeria and South Africa.

Also, using the stakeholder theory as motivation for corporate environmental disclosures, the research examined the perception lobby groups on the disclosure of environmental performance information and the corporate relationship with host community. To achieve this, a grand total of 900 copies of questionnaire were distributed among members of the selected state/provinces using the Yaro Yamani sample selection formula in determine the sample size of the study. In addition, while the content analysis technique was used as a basis for eliciting data from the annual report and corporate websites of the selected companies, the multiple regression method of data analysis was used to investigate the relationships that exist between operating performance, financial leverage (nature), size of firms and the level of corporate environmental disclosure among the selected listed firms in Nigeria and South Africa. The research as part of its findings observed that there is a significant positive relationship between the operating performance, size of firms and the level of corporate environmental disclosures among selected firms in Nigeria. This is however consistent with existing prior studies. The study also observed that a significant negative relationship exists between the financial leverage of firms (proxied by debt -to-equity ratio) and the extent of corporate environmental disclosure. The study therefore concludes that despite the disclosure level noticed among firms, corporate environmental reporting practice in developing countries like Nigeria and South Africa is still very adhoc, general, self-laudatory and voluntary in nature.


Corporate Environmental Reporting Practices


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