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A study of the determinants of environmental disclosure quality: evidence from French listed companies

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We examine the impact of various factors on the quality of environmental disclosure. Combining multi-theories in a unique framework, it focuses on factors related to the strategy and vision of the firm (environmental audit, presence of an environmental committee), diversity of and within boards (independence of the board, gender diversity) and factors related to the environment (environmental performance, degree of pollution of the company). This study involves an attempt to develop a self-constructed index to measure environmental disclosure quality using qualitative attributes as provided by IASB and GRI frameworks and following (Chauvey et al. in J Bus Ethics, 130(4):789–803, 2014). A number of econometric techniques are used including panel data specifications using a sample of French listed companies in SBF120 for the period 2009–2014. The study found that quality of disclosure remains relatively low. In addition, the findings indicate that a company’s strategy and vision (environmental audit), diversity in boards (gender diversity) and environmental performance play significant roles in explaining variations in quality of environmental disclosure. This paper sheds light on whether various factors could affect the credibility of disclosed information using a multi theory framework. Standards setters and policy makers are recommended to think about implementing a generally accepted framework of non-financial reporting to answer the demand for more transparency and accountability. This paper fills the gap in the literature by highlighting an unexplored area of literature related to the quality of non-financial reporting drawing upon the regulatory framework of financial reporting.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Management and Governance
Early online date3 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 3 Jul 2019

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