An Exploration of Content and Drivers of Online Sustainability Disclosure: A Study of Italian Organisations
Organisations have been disclosing environmental and social information through different tools, including their websites. However, the type of environmental and social information that organisations disclose online, and what are the characteristics of those organisations is still not fully understood. This research aims to (a) identify which environmental and social information organisations disclose online; and (ii) explore drivers of the specific information disclosed. We collected data on
... collected data on sustainability disclosures from 2008 Italian organisations. Results show that overall the amount of environmental and social information disclosed online is low. However, organisational characteristics explain different contents of disclosure. Bigger organisations (in terms of revenues and number of employees), and with environmental and social certifications in place tend to disclose more environmental and social information. Also, consumer goods' organisations disclose mostly information related to the supply chain; whilst resource-intensive industries disclose mostly information on corporate social responsibility. This research shows that overall there is still a reserved attitude towards disclosing environmental and social information in Italian organisations, providing little information to stakeholders about environmental and social policies, strategies and practices. This study provides researchers and practitioners information on the content of sustainability information disclosed and possible drivers for their disclosure; this supports their understanding of the conditions where voluntary sustainability disclosure is more expected.