Purpose – The aim of the present study is to verify the presence and the evolution of (voluntary) environmental disclosure with reference to Italian firms. We have examined the documentation of listed firms both in 2006 and 2009, that have been chosen because they immediately precede and immediately follow the emanation in Italy of the legislative decree n. 32 of 2007 that introduced for the first time in Italy – at least in voluntary terms - the information about environment. Therefore, the analysis of the two years mentioned allows us also to verify whether and how firms operated after this new legislative indication. Design/methodology/approach – We propose an approach based on multivariate regression analysis in order to assess the evolution and the determinants of voluntary environmental disclosure. The dependent variable is represented by the disclosure index, that we have estimated through the analysis of the corporate documents of the years 2006 and 2009. Independent variables are as follows: firm size, business industry, economic performance, financial situation, age, foreign markets, public shareholders, company ownership, audit, legislation and environmental performance. Originality/value – The first contribution provided by our work is to realize, for the first time, a specific analysis on environmental disclosure of Italian firms. Moreover (second contribution) our study has extended this analysis to all the informative documents of the entities. For this purpose, besides the individual, we have analyzed the consolidated financial reports, the management reports, the sustainability reports and the reports on corporate governance, if present. Finally (third contribution) the present work allows to examine the effects of the introduction of a new legislation which requires (without obligation) environmental information in the document of the corporate financial annual report. Practical implications – In contrast with the previous studies on this issue, the results of our analysis show an inverse (negative) and statistically significant relation between voluntary environmental disclosure and the level of minority shareholding, the presence of international audit firms (Big 4), environmental performance, profitability and quotation in foreign exchange markets. Finally, our analysis confirms the positive relation between environmental disclosure and firm size and with the presence of government shareholdings in the ownership structure.

Purpose – The aim of the present study is to verify the presence and the evolution of (voluntary) environmental disclosure with reference to Italian firms. We have examined the documentation of listed firms both in 2006 and 2009, that have been chosen because they immediately precede and immediately follow the emanation in Italy of the legislative decree n. 32 of 2007 that introduced for the first time in Italy – at least in voluntary terms - the information about environment. Therefore, the analysis of the two years mentioned allows us also to verify whether and how firms operated after this new legislative indication. Design/methodology/approach – We propose an approach based on multivariate regression analysis in order to assess the evolution and the determinants of voluntary environmental disclosure. The dependent variable is represented by the disclosure index, that we have estimated through the analysis of the corporate documents of the years 2006 and 2009. Independent variables are as follows: firm size, business industry, economic performance, financial situation, age, foreign markets, public shareholders, company ownership, audit, legislation and environmental performance. Originality/value – The first contribution provided by our work is to realize, for the first time, a specific analysis on environmental disclosure of Italian firms. Moreover (second contribution) our study has extended this analysis to all the informative documents of the entities. For this purpose, besides the individual, we have analyzed the consolidated financial reports, the management reports, the sustainability reports and the reports on corporate governance, if present. Finally (third contribution) the present work allows to examine the effects of the introduction of a new legislation which requires (without obligation) environmental information in the document of the corporate financial annual report. Practical implications – In contrast with the previous studies on this issue, the results of our analysis show an inverse (negative) and statistically significant relation between voluntary environmental disclosure and the level of minority shareholding, the presence of international audit firms (Big 4), environmental performance, profitability and quotation in foreign exchange markets. Finally, our analysis confirms the positive relation between environmental disclosure and firm size and with the presence of government shareholdings in the ownership structure. Keywords – Voluntary environmental disclosure, disclosure index, sustainability, Italian listed companies, environmental performance. Paper type – Academic Research Paper

Environmental sustainability: an empirical survey on italian listed companies / Fontana, Stefano; Coluccia, Daniela; Eugenio, D'Amico; Solimene, Silvia. - STAMPA. - (2014), pp. 3203-3226. ((Intervento presentato al convegno 9th workshop on Knowledge and management models for sustainable growth tenutosi a Matera; Italy nel 11-13 giugno 2014.

Environmental sustainability: an empirical survey on italian listed companies

FONTANA, STEFANO;COLUCCIA, DANIELA;SOLIMENE, SILVIA
2014

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of the present study is to verify the presence and the evolution of (voluntary) environmental disclosure with reference to Italian firms. We have examined the documentation of listed firms both in 2006 and 2009, that have been chosen because they immediately precede and immediately follow the emanation in Italy of the legislative decree n. 32 of 2007 that introduced for the first time in Italy – at least in voluntary terms - the information about environment. Therefore, the analysis of the two years mentioned allows us also to verify whether and how firms operated after this new legislative indication. Design/methodology/approach – We propose an approach based on multivariate regression analysis in order to assess the evolution and the determinants of voluntary environmental disclosure. The dependent variable is represented by the disclosure index, that we have estimated through the analysis of the corporate documents of the years 2006 and 2009. Independent variables are as follows: firm size, business industry, economic performance, financial situation, age, foreign markets, public shareholders, company ownership, audit, legislation and environmental performance. Originality/value – The first contribution provided by our work is to realize, for the first time, a specific analysis on environmental disclosure of Italian firms. Moreover (second contribution) our study has extended this analysis to all the informative documents of the entities. For this purpose, besides the individual, we have analyzed the consolidated financial reports, the management reports, the sustainability reports and the reports on corporate governance, if present. Finally (third contribution) the present work allows to examine the effects of the introduction of a new legislation which requires (without obligation) environmental information in the document of the corporate financial annual report. Practical implications – In contrast with the previous studies on this issue, the results of our analysis show an inverse (negative) and statistically significant relation between voluntary environmental disclosure and the level of minority shareholding, the presence of international audit firms (Big 4), environmental performance, profitability and quotation in foreign exchange markets. Finally, our analysis confirms the positive relation between environmental disclosure and firm size and with the presence of government shareholdings in the ownership structure. Keywords – Voluntary environmental disclosure, disclosure index, sustainability, Italian listed companies, environmental performance. Paper type – Academic Research Paper
9788896687031
978-88-96687-04-8
Purpose – The aim of the present study is to verify the presence and the evolution of (voluntary) environmental disclosure with reference to Italian firms. We have examined the documentation of listed firms both in 2006 and 2009, that have been chosen because they immediately precede and immediately follow the emanation in Italy of the legislative decree n. 32 of 2007 that introduced for the first time in Italy – at least in voluntary terms - the information about environment. Therefore, the analysis of the two years mentioned allows us also to verify whether and how firms operated after this new legislative indication. Design/methodology/approach – We propose an approach based on multivariate regression analysis in order to assess the evolution and the determinants of voluntary environmental disclosure. The dependent variable is represented by the disclosure index, that we have estimated through the analysis of the corporate documents of the years 2006 and 2009. Independent variables are as follows: firm size, business industry, economic performance, financial situation, age, foreign markets, public shareholders, company ownership, audit, legislation and environmental performance. Originality/value – The first contribution provided by our work is to realize, for the first time, a specific analysis on environmental disclosure of Italian firms. Moreover (second contribution) our study has extended this analysis to all the informative documents of the entities. For this purpose, besides the individual, we have analyzed the consolidated financial reports, the management reports, the sustainability reports and the reports on corporate governance, if present. Finally (third contribution) the present work allows to examine the effects of the introduction of a new legislation which requires (without obligation) environmental information in the document of the corporate financial annual report. Practical implications – In contrast with the previous studies on this issue, the results of our analysis show an inverse (negative) and statistically significant relation between voluntary environmental disclosure and the level of minority shareholding, the presence of international audit firms (Big 4), environmental performance, profitability and quotation in foreign exchange markets. Finally, our analysis confirms the positive relation between environmental disclosure and firm size and with the presence of government shareholdings in the ownership structure.
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