Environmental Reporting Disclosures of Shandong Listed Companies in China

Elizabeth A. Rainsbury, Unitec Institute of Technology
Gloria Hao, Unitec Institute of Technology
Meili Yang, Shandong Agricultural University

Abstract: This study examines the factors that influence environmental reporting disclosures of selected listed companies from the Shandong province of China. The study applies institutional theory and takes a regional perspective to examine isomorphic pressures that influence environmental reporting. The study compares the levels of environmental reporting prior to 2008 and after the introduction of guidelines in 2009 to 2010. Environmental disclosures significantly improve during this period, suggesting that coercive influences of the government and capital market regulators have had a positive effect on environmental reporting practice. The study supports prior findings that Shandong listed companies are more likely to disclose higher levels of environmental reporting if they are large or operate in environmentally sensitive sectors. Contrary to prior research, there is a negative association between profitable companies and environmental disclosures. This association is stronger for the companies that are majority-owned by the central government, indicating the influence of the principal owner’s broader social objectives.