An Empirical Investigation of U.K. Environmental Targets Disclosure: The Role of Environmental Governance and Performance

Moussa, T., Kotb, A. and Helfaya, A. 2021. An Empirical Investigation of U.K. Environmental Targets Disclosure: The Role of Environmental Governance and Performance. European Accounting Review. 31 (4), pp. 937-971. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638180.2021.1890173

TitleAn Empirical Investigation of U.K. Environmental Targets Disclosure: The Role of Environmental Governance and Performance
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMoussa, T., Kotb, A. and Helfaya, A.
Abstract

Although an increasing number of companies have publicly declared environmental targets (ETs), scant research has been conducted in this area. This study, therefore, investigates the extent of corporate environmental targets disclosure (ETD) and empirically examines whether environmental governance and performance influence the ETD of companies in the U.K. during the 2005–2013 period. We find that firms show a large degree of variability and inconsistency in their reporting of ETs. The results indicate that U.K. firms, particularly those with high environmental sensitivity, tend to disclose symbolic soft or semi-hard ETs to manage stakeholder perceptions and legitimize their existence. Moreover, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, sustainability committees, and sustainability assurance show positive relationships with ETD. We also find that U.K. firms that perform well environmentally are likely to set and disclose hard ETs. These results support stakeholder, legitimacy, and impression management theories. We suggest that there is a need for regulations that will not only enhance the usefulness of ETD but also encourage companies to take serious proactive action to reduce negative environmental impacts, possibly creating ‘win-win’ solutions. Our findings have important implications for policy-makers and various stakeholder groups.

KeywordsEnvironmental governance, Environmental performance, Stakeholders, Impression management
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Journal citation31 (4), pp. 937-971
ISSN1468-4497
Year2021
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09638180.2021.1890173
Web address (URL)http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-85102736264&partnerID=MN8TOARS
Publication dates
Published online16 Mar 2021
Page range1-35

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