Standardized reporting of climate change information in Australia

Cotter, Julie and Najah, Muftah and Wang, Shihui Sophie (2011) Standardized reporting of climate change information in Australia. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 2 (2). pp. 294-321. ISSN 2040-8021

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Purpose: This paper explores the gaps between (1) regulatory requirements and authoritative guidance regarding climate disclosure in Australia, (2) reporting practices, and (3) the demands for increased disclosure and standardization of that disclosure.

Approach: The Draft Reporting Framework of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) is used to develop a scoring system, against which the climate disclosures of one large Australian company that has received awards for its disclosure record are assessed. Relevant theories of voluntary disclosure are used to explain the findings.

Findings: The results of this analysis indicate an inadequate amount of disclosure in this company’s reports about some aspects of climate change impacts and their management. Further, the disclosures that are made tend to lack technical detail and are somewhat skewed towards the more positive aspects of climate change impacts and management.

Research limitations: These findings are based on just one large Australian company that has received commendations for its climate disclosure record, and may therefore not reflect the climate disclosure practices of other Australian companies.

Practical implications: The results of this case study appear to support calls for increased guidelines for the disclosure of climate change related information and greater standardization of reporting. Several potential policy options for doing this are assessed.

Originality/value: This study uses an objective measure to assess climate change disclosures which was developed for this research. The results are expected to be useful for informing the continuing debate around the regulation of and/or provision of guidance to Australian companies about the disclosure of climate change related information.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publsiher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business and Law - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2012 07:03
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2017 03:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate; disclosure; reporting framework; standardisation; Australia
Fields of Research : 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220102 Business Ethics
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160505 Economic Development Policy
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919999 Economic Framework not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/20408021111185420

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