Corporate governance and environmental reporting: an Australian study

Kathyayini Rao, Carol Tilt, Laurence Lester

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    140 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between environmental reporting and corporate governance attributes of companies in Australia. The paper adopts a quantitative analysis approach. It examines the 2008 annual reports of the largest 100 Australian firms listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) to determine the amount of environmental reporting – these data are compared with various corporate governance measures. Analysis found a significant positive relationship between the extent of environmental reporting and the proportions of independent and female directors on a board. The analysis did not, however, support a negative relationship between the extent of environmental reporting and institutional investors and board size as has been previously predicted, rather, it showed a positive relationship. This paper offers insights to both regulators and company strategists. Regulators such as the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) could consider expanding its Corporate Governance Council guidelines to include consideration of the environment, which is increasingly considered to be an important aspect of corporate social responsibility, and one of the responsibilities of the board of directors. In addition, for companies which include a commitment to the environment in their mission and strategies, it suggests consideration of the impact of board structure and composition is important as both of these are shown to have a significant effect on the amount of environmental information disclosed by companies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-163
    Number of pages21
    JournalCorporate Governance
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2012


    • Australia
    • Corporate governance
    • Corporate strategy
    • Environmental reporting


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