Jan Dusek and Yoshiro Fukuda
Nowadays it is increasingly important for companies to stay credible in terms of their commitment to address global warming and reduce their environmental impact. One way to do this is to consistently and transparently disclose environmental data. This research aims to investigate environmental data disclosed by companies, with a particular focus on corporate environmental targets. We analyze the historical timelines of corporate environmental targets for a sample of major Japanese manufacturing companies in order to understand patterns of target-setting behavior. In a number of cases, we identify a significant level of inconsistency. We examine the implications of this phenomenon by conducting a questionnaire among a stakeholder group that deals with the issue of corporate environmental disclosure on a daily basis – sustainability-rating agencies. The output of this study consists of a proposed Environmental Target Model (ETM) based on the target-setting best-practice experience of rating agencies and our findings.
Keywords: environmental targets, environmental performance evaluation, target-setting behavior