A study of the sustainability risk disclosure practices of listed companies in Australia
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 14:48 authored by Md Amir Hossain
This thesis investigates the extent to which the top 100 ASX-listed companies disclose economic, environmental, and social sustainability risk factors in light of the changes introducing Recommendation 7.4 in the third edition of the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (ASX, 2014) in 2014. Using content analysis, I examine the cross-referenced documents in Appendix 4G statements to measure the extent of economic, environmental, and social sustainability risk disclosures by the top 100 Australian listed companies during the 2014-15 financial year, the first full reporting period after the changes came into effect. Recommendation 7.4 attained a high degree of acceptance among companies. All companies complied with the recommendation, although questions of substance over form were raised for several companies. Annual reports are the main means of disclosing sustainability risk, followed by sustainability reports, web disclosures, annual reviews, and corporate governance statements. Many companies use images to disclose sustainability risks in addition to narratives. Further, economic sustainability risk disclosures are higher in non-sensitive industries, whereas social and environmental sustainability risk disclosures are higher in sensitive industries. Last, company size is positively related to sustainability risk disclosure.