GRI Application Levels and Disclosure on Specific Environmental Activities: An Empirical Investigation of Industry Membership and Geographical Region of Top European Companies

Abeer Hassan, Colette Hunter, Ayodele Asekomeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigates the link between voluntarily declared Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) application levels and the actual level of disclosure on the specific environmental concerns of packaging, waste, recycling, climate change activities and carbon footprint in European companies' reports. The study also examines the extent to which the geographical location and industry membership of European companies affects the level of environmental disclosure and GRI application levels. The study uses a two-stage approach: it explores the possible link between GRI application levels and actual disclosure on specific environmental activities in the first stage, and then categorises these on the basis of industry membership and geographical regions in the second. The results show that top European companies demonstrate considerable awareness that disclosure on specific environmental activities has become a theme of strategic choice. Additionally, specific environmental activities provide some positive evidences to establish a link between GRI application levels and actual environmental disclosures, although the outcomes are mixed. These linkages are also better understood when sample firms are categorised by industry membership and geographical region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-176
Number of pages21
JournalSocial and Environmental Accountability Journal
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Empirical investigation
European companies
Industry
Disclosure
Global Reporting Initiative
Environmental disclosure
Linkage
Climate change
Carbon footprint
Packaging
Strategic choice
Environmental concern

Cite this

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title = "GRI Application Levels and Disclosure on Specific Environmental Activities: An Empirical Investigation of Industry Membership and Geographical Region of Top European Companies",
abstract = "This study investigates the link between voluntarily declared Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) application levels and the actual level of disclosure on the specific environmental concerns of packaging, waste, recycling, climate change activities and carbon footprint in European companies' reports. The study also examines the extent to which the geographical location and industry membership of European companies affects the level of environmental disclosure and GRI application levels. The study uses a two-stage approach: it explores the possible link between GRI application levels and actual disclosure on specific environmental activities in the first stage, and then categorises these on the basis of industry membership and geographical regions in the second. The results show that top European companies demonstrate considerable awareness that disclosure on specific environmental activities has become a theme of strategic choice. Additionally, specific environmental activities provide some positive evidences to establish a link between GRI application levels and actual environmental disclosures, although the outcomes are mixed. These linkages are also better understood when sample firms are categorised by industry membership and geographical region.",
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