Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the world today. As to measure is to manage, the mandating of the Mandatory Carbon Reporting Requirements (MCRR) in August 2013 was an important step taken by the UK government in seeking to manage corporate carbon emissions. Even though many companies have disclosed carbon disclosures in their annual reports voluntarily before the introduction of MCRR; Deloitte (2010), reported that only a handful of companies came close to complying with DEFRA guidelines. Failure to follow recommended guidelines may cause disclosures to be less useful to the stakeholders, as it fails to meet stakeholders’ expectation and does not facilitate comparison between companies or industry sectors. This paper investigates whether companies have made use of the guidelines issued by the government and report the information as recommended (especially after MCRR); or whether the disclosure is a symbolic action, where the disclosure is just a ceremonial compliance rather than giving useful information to the stakeholders. Further, the paper also investigate whether the regulation has effectively motivated companies to improve their reporting (by following the guidelines) as compared to voluntary year. The findings provide evidence that there is a significant difference between the two years disclosure, especially in the disclosure of mandatory items. The increase in the number of reporting companies and the improvement of the content of the reports is a sign that companies are committed to comply with MCRR, despite its ‘Comply or Explain’ approach of enforcement. Tremendous increment were also found in voluntary items which are related to mandatory items. Besides contents, improvement is also found in the way the information is disclosed in annual report.
Keywords: GHG, carbon reporting, mandatory, climate change
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