Credibility of Environmental Issues in Non-Financial Mandatory Disclosure: Measurement and Determinants

Journal of Cleaner Production, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2021

See all articles by Federica Balluchi

Federica Balluchi

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management

Arianna Lazzini

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE)

Riccardo Torelli

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Department of Economic and Social Sciences

Date Written: March 15, 2021

Abstract

Through the lens of legitimacy theory and starting from Habermas’s communication theory the paper aims to extend and contribute to the research fields related to the quality of social and environmental disclosure and corporate legitimacy by focusing on firms’ environmental reporting credibility. The study proposes an operationalization of the corporate environmental reporting credibility concept identifying possible determinants, related measurements and indicators. Through a content analysis we have measured the credibility of non-financial reports of 152 business entities that, in accordance with the Italian law, published for the first time in 2018, at a mandatory level, social and environmental reports. The results show a good level of credibility in Italian reporting context and in particular a high level of understandability, but a low level of exhaustivity. Findings highlight also the important role of experience in voluntary non-financial reporting, the use of stand-alone document and the belonging to an ESI in influencing the credibility of the communication. The results offer implications and scientific contributions related to the proposal of a detailed model for the measurement of social and environmental reporting applicable to any type of document, in any geographical contest, and any time frame.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, Non-financial reporting, Environmental disclosure, Mandatory disclosure, Credibility, Legitimacy

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Balluchi, Federica and Lazzini, Arianna and Torelli, Riccardo, Credibility of Environmental Issues in Non-Financial Mandatory Disclosure: Measurement and Determinants (March 15, 2021). Journal of Cleaner Production, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3763435

Federica Balluchi

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via J.F. Kennedy, 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

Arianna Lazzini

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) ( email )

Viale A. Allegri 9
Modena, Modena 42121
Italy

Riccardo Torelli (Contact Author)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Department of Economic and Social Sciences ( email )

Via Emilia Parmense 84
Piacenza, Piacenza 29122
Italy

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