This coursework represents 100% of the assessment for this module and must be submitted by Friday 12 April 2015 at 11:59pm. An electronic copy must be saved to the Blackboard module. The assessment comprises two parts. You are required to answer all two parts. An indication of the weighting for each part is shown in the question. This is an individual piece of work and care must be taken to ensure that the work you produce is your own work. All work cited must be correctly referenced using the Harvard Reference system.
Your answer to Part 1 should be in essay form. Your answer to Part 2 should be in the format of a Business Report (see Guidance Note below). You must identify the word count at the end of each of the two parts (see additional guidance for more information about word count).
You are expected to produce a typed response to the assessment. Your answer must relate to the assessment questions and a bibliography must be included. Referencing guidelines are available via the intranet by going to Abertay’s virtual library site and accessing the documentation through – Reference Management, Referencing at Abertay, then Harvard – Advanced. I encourage you to make sure that you use this to ensure correct referencing using the Harvard referencing system. References, bibliography, Appendices etc. ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE WORD LIMIT.
You should also try out the Blackboard course on referencing and plagiarism which can be accessed from the link above. This will help you understand how to reference correctly.
Part A (Essay Type, Minimum of 1,250 Words)
1. Several theoretical lenses have been applied to explain social and environmental disclosure practices by firms. Identify two competing theories used by Clarkson et al. (2008), Dawkin and Fraas (2011) and Cho, Freedman and Patten (2012). Critically discuss how these theories can be used to explain (social) and environmental disclosure behaviours and the motives for such behaviours. (25%)
2. Two prominent practices that provide partial evaluation of firms’ social and environmental accountability are (i) social and environmental performance measurement by rating agencies and (ii) provision of sustainability assurance by professional accountants and other relevant professionals. Discuss the role of the two practices in the development of Social and Environmental Accounting as an applied field. (25%)
Part B (Business Report Type, Minimum of 1250 Words)
Prominent scholars in Social and Environmental Accounting (SEA) have emphasised the need for researchers in the area to redirect a proportion of their attention to the adoption of theoretical propositions to explain managerial disclosure practices (see, Gray, 2002; Mathews, 1997; Owen, 2008; Parker, 2005). These scholars made this call as they had the intuition that such engagement would lead to illuminative findings that would offer insightful explanations for social and environmental disclosure behaviours.
You are required to select any company, operating in a pollution-intensive industry, which issues sustainability report based on the guidelines of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Using the two competing theories identified in (1) of part A, discuss the chosen company’s likely motives behind the patterns of disclosure regarding each of the following G3 core performance indicators.
Core Environmental Performance Indicators
- EN3 Direct energy consumption by primary energy source.
- EN4 Indirect energy consumption by primary source.
- EN16 Total direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight.
- EN17 Other relevant indirect greenhouse gas emissions by weight.
- EN19 Emissions of ozone-depleting substances by weight.
- EN20 NO, SO, and other significant air emissions by type and weight.
- EN21 Total water discharge by quality and destination.
- EN22 Total weight of waste by type and disposal method.
- EN23 Total number and volume of significant spills.
- EN26 Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation.
- EN28 Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for noncompliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Core Social Performance Indicators
1. SO1 Nature, scope, and effectiveness of any programs and practices that assess and manage the impacts of operations on communities, including entering, operating, and exiting.
2. SO2 Percentage and total number of business units analyzed for risks related to corruption.
3. SO3 Percentage of employees trained in organization’s anti-corruption policies and procedures.
4. SO4 Actions taken in response to incidents of corruption.
5. SO5 Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying.
6. SO8 Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for noncompliance with laws and regulations.