Environmental disclosure within company annual reports has become an increasing expectation of environmental regulators and campaigners in industrial countries. It is an indicator of business commitment to environmental improvement to the extent that the disclosures report progress in implementing environmental programmes. Perhaps more important, disclosure is a source of documentary evidence that can be used by external parties to evaluate company performance. The willingness by company managers to open the organisation to external scrutiny is often viewed as a necessary first step in obtaining business commitment to environmentally sustainable forms of business activity. This paper compares Western experience with environmental disclosure to that in Singapore. Information on environmental disclosure in Singapore is presented from a review of company annual reports (covering two years 1995/96 and 1996/97) and the responses to a questionnaire survey covering all public listed companies in Singapore. The surveys reveal a low commitment to environmental disclosure amongst Singapore organisations. Reasons for the low interest in disclosure are explained. Possible public policy responses and options for changing current business attitudes toward disclosure are outlined.
Environmental Management and Health – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 1999
Keywords: Disclosure; Company reports; Singapore; Regulations; Stakeholders
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