• environmental disclosure;
  • stakeholder theory


Many firms choose to communicate their environmental strategies through voluntary environmental disclosures. This paper examines patterns in the quality of voluntary environmental disclosures made by a sample of around 450 large UK companies drawn from a diverse range of industrial sectors. The analysis distinguishes between five facets of quality, including the disclosure of group-wide environmental policies, environmental impact targets and an environmental audit. We examine how the decisions firms face regarding each facet of quality are determined by firm and industry characteristics, and find the quality of disclosure to be determined by a firm's size and the nature of its business activities. Specifically, we find high quality disclosure to be primarily associated with larger firms and those in sectors most closely related to environmental concerns. In contrast to several recent contributions, we find that the media exposure of companies plays no role in stimulating voluntary disclosures. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.