Environmental disclosure in SpainCorporate characteristics and media exposure

  1. Manuel García-Ayuso Covarsí
  2. Carlos Larrinaga González
Revista española de financiación y contabilidad

ISSN: 0210-2412

Year of publication: 2003

Issue: 115

Pages: 184-214

Type: Article

DOI: 10.1080/02102412.2003.10779479 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR


Social and environmental issues have become a major concern for accounting research over the past two decades. Social and Environmental Accounting has attracted the attention of a number of researchers attempting to understand, explain and predict the disclosure of information on the social and environmental implications of business activities. Empirical research has hypothesized that size, profitability and the potential environmental impact of the firm are the main factors explaining the amount of information disclosed. On the other hand, several studies have focused on the motivations for disclosing environmental information, hypothesizing that disclosures are aimed at building or sustaining corporate legitimacy. We test the main hypotheses developed to date by empirical research with regard to the disclosure of environmental information based on a sample of companies listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange. Results of a content analysis show that firms disclosing environmental information tend to be larger, have higher risk (measured by the beta coefficient) and operate in industries that have a high potential environmental impact. The environmental implications of the activities carried out by these companies also seem to receive more attention from print media. Our results also provide evidence that two factors directly associated with the amount of environmental information disclosed are the potential environmental impact of the industry and the extent of media coverage of the firms.