Industry specific social and environmental reporting

The Australian Food and Beverage Industry

James Guthrie*, Suresh Cuganesan, Leanne Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regulators and other industry associations have recognised the importance of considering the industry setting when determining social and environmental (SE) policy and reporting requirements. However, social and environmental impacts vary greatly from industry to industry. The generalised nature of many SE disclosure instruments is a limitation on the accuracy of the results of empirical studies which only focus on annual report disclosure and size. This paper attempts to address this limitation by developing an industry-specific reporting framework to examine SE performance, based on an empirical analysis of the issues that apply within the chosen industry. Also, it assesses corporate SE reporting against intra-industry issues, as well as more universal reporting requirements, the latter derived from widely accepted and utilised reporting frameworks in the literature. This paper finds that the sample companies reported more on industry-specific issues than general SE issues. This finding also highlights the need for researchers examining SE disclosures to consider incorporating industry-specific items into their disclosure instruments. The study also finds that the companies tended to utilise corporate websites for their SE reporting more so than annual reports, indicating the need for researchers to consider alternative media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAccounting Forum
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

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