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Revista Contabilidade & Finanças
On-line version ISSN 1808-057X
RIBEIRO, Alex Mussoi; BELLEN, Hans Michael Van and CARVALHO, Luiz Nelson Guedes de. Can regulation make a difference? The case of environmental disclosure. Rev. contab. finanç. [online]. 2011, vol.22, n.56, pp. 137-154. ISSN 1808-057X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-70772011000200002.
Based on different opinions concerning the need for mandatory environmental disclosure, the main purpose of this research was to verify whether or not the company's environmental reporting practices react to different regulatory stimuli. The answer to this question is useful to evaluate the effectiveness of the introduction of regulatory mechanisms in environmental disclosure practices. Since environmental disclosure is mainly voluntary, companies can simply override regulation, making it pointless. The method of research chosen was of a descriptive and predominantly quantitative nature. The companies selected as samples were from the oil and natural gas sectors from four different countries who share cultural similarities, such as the United States, Canada, England and Australia. The environmental information was collected from annual reports year ended 2007. In order to classify the environmental data used, a suitable comparative analysis of two consecrated works was used -the study of Clarkson et al. (2008) and the study of Wiseman (1982). The statistical tests proved that there are significant differences between the regulated and the unregulated countries, and the greatest differences were found when mandatory disclosure was utilized, thus proving that countries can indeed react to different regulatory stimuli.
Keywords : Environmental Disclosure; Accounting; Mandatory; Regulation.