Incentives and disincentives for corporate environmental disclosure



The year 2000 saw the launch of AA1000, a standard designed to enable corporate ethical performance to be judged. If such ethical performance is interpreted as social and environmental behaviour our view is that it should lead to more social and environmental disclosure. Yet the willingness to communicate corporate social and environmental performance still seems to be limited. Of the social and environmental disclosures that exist many appear to be rather fragmented and disparate. In this paper we explore the apparent paradox between concern for the environment and the limited amount of corporate environmental disclosure (CED) that takes place. Through an empirical study, the incentives and disincentives for CED are identified. Findings from the study identify a difference between the information requirements of ‘users’ and the willingness of ‘preparers’ to provide. The paper makes some tentative policy suggestions with the intention of bringing the two parties closer together. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment