Brad Rawlins, Brigham Young University
Katie Paine, KDPaine & Partners, and
Peter Kowalski, KDPaine & Partners
The websites of Fortune 50 companies were evaluated to determine the depth and detail of information presented on environmental sustainability efforts of the company. A summary measure, called the Environmental Reporting Transparency Scorecard, was used to rank the companies. Findings:
· Environmental sustainability reporting is still being used as a public relations tool to position companies favorably on environmental issues, rather than to hold companies accountable to stakeholders for environmental performance.
· The majority of the Fortune 50 are providing some kind of environmental information online, but there is room for improvement in the adoption of the interactive and integrated technology that is available for reporting and stakeholder participation within the Web medium. These technologies would enhance the transparency of the reporting process.
· There is little evidence of stakeholder involvement in the environmental sustainability reporting process. If companies are involving stakeholders in this process, the disclosure of such participation would improve the appearance of transparency.
· Involving third party groups that provide reporting standards helped organizations to be more transparent in their reporting process, as determined by the ERTS scorecard.