Corporate Environmental Reporting on the Web – An Exploratory Study of Chinese Listed Companies

Tianxi Zhang, Simon S. Gao, Jane J. Zhang


While the literature has given a considerable attention to internet financial reporting, limitedstudies mainly from developed economies have emerged to explain and predict corporate behaviorrelating to corporate environmental reporting on Websites. This preliminary study attemptsto fill a gap by investigating Internet environmental reporting (IER) in China and examiningthe current IER practice of Chinese top listed companies. This study finds that IER isincreasingly used in China to disclose corporate social and environmental activity and policy.Companies are increasingly using the phrases of ‘sustainability’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’in their IER. Website-specific reporting concerning social and environmental issues,performance and activities has growingly been adopted by Chinese top listed companies as themain approach to IER. Both the quantity of disclosure and the areas of coverage have steadilyincreased. While IER in China is developing, there remains a considerable discrepancy in termsof reporting practices and the levels of social and environmental information disclosed. Thereare no generally accepted standards and guidelines for IER in China, and the data/informationdisclosed are largely incomparable. External auditing of IER remains a problem. Copyright ©

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Issues In Social and Environmental Accounting (ISEA) - ISSN: 1978-0591