Environmental performance and voluntary disclosure on specific environmental activities: an empirical study of carbon vs. non-carbon intensive industries. Legitimacy proactive approach

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Adopting legitimacy proactive approach, this paper examines and evaluates relationship between levels of environmental performance (measured by environmental awards) and the quality of specific voluntary environmental disclosure using a sample of UK FTSE 100 companies. Companies in the sample have been grouped according to industry membership (carbon intensive vs. non-carbon-intensive) and environmental performance (poor performers vs. better performers). Statistical techniques have been used to test for variations in the quality of voluntary environmental disclosure between the companies in these groups. The findings reveal that the extent of quantitative environmental disclosure by companies with poor environmental performance in the carbon intensive group was significantly higher than similar disclosures made by either better environmental performers or poor environmental performers from non-carbon intensive industries for some activities. In contrast, quantitative environmental disclosure by better performers is found to be of a significantly higher quality than similar disclosures made by either poor performers or better performers from carbon intensive group for other activities. The results have some implications for various stakeholders and offers opportunities for future research, specially, in relation to environmental awarding bodies and their criteria for awarding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-261
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Economy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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