Relationship between environmental disclosures and corporate characteristics: a study of large manufacturing companies in India
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to test the influence of selected company- and industry-related variables on environmental disclosure practices (EDPs) of the large manufacturing Indian companies. Design/methodology/approach - The work was done in three phases. In the first phase, an index of environmental disclosure was constructed consisting of 23 items of environmental information. Opinions of chartered accountants were obtained on the importance of each of these items in making sound investment and other decisions. Using this index, in the second phase, EDPs in the annual reports of 91 large manufacturing companies were examined for a period of three consecutive years. Environmental disclosure score (EDS) percentages were calculated for each of the companies for all the three years. The relationship between EDS percentages and ten selected variables was analyzed with the help of the multiple regression technique in the last phase. Findings - The results provide strong evidence in support of the influence of variables size, profitability, sector, industry and environmental performance on EDPs. Research limitations/implications - The work involves analysis of EDPs of large manufacturing companies in India only. Non-manufacturing and small companies were excluded from the scope of the work. Disclosure of environmental information by other media like stand-alone corporate environmental report (CER) and internet was not considered. It was felt that further research was necessary to find the impact of other factors like country origin, organizational culture, experience with pressure groups and media profile on disclosure practices. Practical implications - It was felt that environmental reporting should be made mandatory in India at least in the major polluting industries. Companies should also voluntarily try to provide audited environmental information in the annual reports to build credibility and trust among corporate stakeholders. Originality/value - The paper presents empirical evidence of EDPs of large manufacturing companies in India. It provides an insight into the factors that cause a difference in these practices.
Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
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