Does more mean better? Exploring the relationship between report completeness and environmental sustainability

Calabrese*, A., Costa*, R., Levialdi*, N., Menichini**, T., Villazon Montalvan*, R.A.
*Department of Enterprise Engineering, University of Rome Tor Vergata, via del Politecnico 1, Roma, Italy; **Engineering Department, University “Niccolò Cusano”

Volume 12, Issue 24, 2020, 10635

The reliability of sustainability reporting can impact sustainable development and should provide relevant information to financial analysts, investors, and other stakeholders by reducing information asymmetry between them and management. Nevertheless, its utility is often undermined by a lack of the disclosure information’s trustability.

This paper aims to evaluate if the completeness of the sustainability report’s environmental quantitative information is a reliable indicator of the company’s real commitment to environmental sustainability. The paper analyzes the relationship between the report’s completeness and the environmental performance evaluated by data of an independent third party. Fifty Italian companies that have submitted complete data on CO2 emissions to the European Union Emissions Trade Scheme (EU ETS) in the six years from 2008–2013 and published sustainability reports have been evaluated. Results indicate that reporting completeness is not correlated with better environmental performance, and consequently with greater commitment to environmental sustainability, thus suggesting the potential existence of credibility gaps. View Full-Text

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