Utveckling av miljöredovisning i svenska börsbolag : praxis, begrepp, orsaker

Detta är en avhandling från Lund University Press, P O Box 141, S-22100 Lund, Sweden

Sammanfattning: Before 1990 environmental reporting in Sweden was a marginal and unsystematic activity undertaken by a small number of large companies in high-profile industries. The 1990's have witnessed a dramatic increase in environmental reporting practice, and today a large number of companies in almost all industries annually report considerable amounts of environmental information. Increasingly, companies are publishing this information in separate annual environmental reports. The thesis provides a detailed survey of Swedish listed companies' environmental reporting practices for the years 1990 through 1996. Following this survey the thesis presents a study of possible causes of the development of the environmental reporting trend, and a detailed analysis of financial environmental reporting concepts disclosed by companies. The study of concepts shows that this type of environmental reporting is uncommon in practice and confirms that it is highly problematic. In part, this is due to the difficulty in separating environmental activities from other business activities. The study also shows that these concepts may be disclosed and interpreted in a number of ways, thus limiting their usefulness. The study of possible causes shows that size and industry are prerequisites for environmental reporting during the early part of the period. Pressure by environmental groups has been a direct cause of disclosure in certain companies, but various internal organizational factors determine how a particular company reacts to such pressures. The rapid diffusion of environmental reporting practice may partly be explained by the tendency of companies to mimic the behaviour of their peers and competitors. In this sense, environmental reporting has become a reporting norm among listed companies. It is also an interesting example of how such norms develop through mimetic behaviour among report-makers, rather than as a result of professional debate among accounting regulators.

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