Publication Details

The article was originally published as Andrew, J, Corporate Governance, the Environment and the Internet, Electronic Green Journal, December 2003. Original article available here.


Corporate use of the internet for a variety of business purposes is now commonplace. Owning and occupying internet space is almost essential for publicly traded companies, either as a place to do business or as a place to exchange information about business. It has also been documented that the internet provides a global meeting ground for those interested in social and environmental change. The two ideas are now combining, leading to a situation in which corporations are using their web pages to provide environmental information about their activities as part of their corporate governance strategy. This paper performs an initial investigation into the ways that some Australian publicly listed companies are using the internet to disclose environmental information. As the research is an exploratory investigation into environmental disclosures on the web, our first consideration was to see whether the environment featured on the web site, how it featured and the ease to which this information could be accessed. Overall, this study indicates that environmental disclosures are highly dependent on industry. More importantly, it was found that the type of disclosure does not vary significantly from that provided within text-based reports and that web-based media is still far from being utilised to its full potential.