Original Research

An initial review of biodiversity reporting by South African corporates: The case of the food and mining sectors

Hafsa Mansoor, Warren Maroun
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 4 | a1477 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i4.1477 | © 2016 Hafsa Mansoor, Warren Maroun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 September 2015 | Published: 25 November 2016

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Hafsa Mansoor, University of the Witwatersrand
Warren Maroun, University of the Witwatersrand

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine to what extent South African companies listed on the local stock exchange in the mining and food producer and retail sectors are including biodiversity-related issues in their integrated and sustainability reports. The study employs established biodiversity reporting frameworks for gauging changes in the frequency of disclosures from 2011 to 2013 and determining if biodiversity information is being included in either the integrated or sustainability reports of the companies under review. Consistent with the findings of a special edition of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), the research finds few examples of detailed reporting on biodiversity issues. This is despite the fact that South Africa has a well-established code of corporate governance, a long history of including non-financial information in corporate reports and is an advocate of the integrated reporting movement. The study calls into question the sincerity of companies in the two sectors under review when it comes to providing balanced accounts of their management of non-financial capital as recommended by the country’s codes on governance and the International Integrated Reporting Council.


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