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A literature review on Environmental Reporting - Coursework Example

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A literature review on Environmental Reporting

Basically, there are three types of environmental reporting that include involuntary disclosures, mandatory disclosure and voluntary disclosure (Porritt, 2005). Involuntary disclosure is whereby a company’s information about its environmental activities is disclosed without its consent and against its will. A good example of these kinds of disclosures is press and media exposes. Mandatory disclosure is whereby companies are required by law to disclose information concerning their environmental activities. Finally, voluntary disclosure is whereby a company voluntarily avails information concerning its environmental activities to the general public (Gray, 2000). There are two forms of voluntary disclosures including confidential and non-confidential disclosures. The former are the disclosures which are required by consumers, banks and insurers that are not available to the general public while the latter comprise of all environmental information a business organization voluntarily avails to the general public. History of environmental reporting Even though voluntary disclosure of environment information by businesses has possibly existed as long as there have been companies, it is only in the last two decades we have seen significance in this direction. As more and more businesses become producers of informative environmental reports, so have the development embodied in the reporting continued to uphold an understanding of the relationships between the company, society and the environment (Gray, 2000). For almost 20 years of such voluntary initiatives have demonstrated clearly the possibilities of voluntary disclosure and appropriately attracted substantial admiration for those within the corporations who have initiated this progress (Patten, 2002). Organizational innovation has grown around the development of reporting and the effect of, for instance the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines among other approaches which ensured a helpful and inventive environment within which both emerging and existing environmental reporters can grow and develop (Porritt, 2005). Porritt (2005) observes that the substantial growth in this direction is not the whole story. This is because studies have not provided credible explanations of why companies would perform voluntarily such dangerous duty as environmental reporting (Porritt, 2005). More challenging than this, perhaps, is the rising recognition that if individuals know little about why companies report, they practically know comparatively little about why companies do report whereas majority do not. Probably that is why only few companies report either entirely or reliably. Stand-Alone Environmental Reporting Traditionally, much of formal environmental reporting and research is based on organization’s yearly report. Although disclosing some aspects of the organization’s environmental activities might appear in marketing, correspondences to workers and so on the diversity and evenness of this reporting has only rarely attracted interest in the literature (Thompson and Bebbington, 2003). Even though the birth of stand-alone reporting is of importance in itself, the studies have not treated this shift as one that is basically different in form of yearly report disclosures. Stand-alone reporting can be regarded as an extension of the social and environmental ...Show more

Summary

Order#: 522707 Topic: A literature review on Environmental Reporting Introduction Environmental reporting can be defined as a catch-all term that describes the various means by which companies disclose information on their environmental activities. The term corporate environmental reports differs considerably with Environmental reporting…
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