Determinants of Environmental Reporting in the Top 50 New Zealand Listed Companies



Abstract: The purpose of the study reported here was to examine the relationship between firm-specific variables (firm size, industry, and profitability) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)- based environmental reporting practices among the top 50 market-capitalised firms on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZSX). Data were gathered from the companies’ annual and sustainability reports for 2018 and 2019 and analysed using the panel regression method. The findings suggest that firm size and industry environmental sensitivity are positively associated with GRI-based environmental reporting. Firms operating in environmentally sensitive industries are more likely to report GRI-based disclosures. However, profitability was not found to strongly influence GRI-based disclosure practices in listed firms. Our findings also indicate that environmental reporting disclosures increased slightly in 2019 compared to 2018, and New Zealand will need this trend to continue in order to meet the 2030 emission goals pledged under the 2016 Paris Agreement.

Keywords: Firm size, Industry, Profitability, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

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