Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Hui, F, & Bowrey, G, Corporate social responsibility reporting in Hong Kong: Case study of three note-issuing banks 2003-2006, British Accounting Association Conference, Blackpool, England, 1-4 April 2008.


The increasing public concern on the state of the world’s environment and the impact of mankind on the ecology of the world has lead to the increased scrutiny of the operations and performance of organisations. Organisations are now expected to be able to demonstrate that they are aware and are addressing the impact of their operations, both direct and indirect, on the environment and society in general. Financial institutions due to the nature of their business generally do not contribute directly to the degradation of the environment however they do provide the funds for many organisations’ projects which do directly impact on the environment. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this paper will review the environmental reporting practices of the three note issuing banks in Hong Kong; the Hongkong and Shangihai Banking Corporation (HSBC), the Standard Chartered Bank (SBC) and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK) for the period of 2003 to 2006. The evaluation of their environmental reporting practices will be based on the voluntary Equator Principles, first introduced in 2003, which outline how financial institutions can reflect the current environmental and social concerns associated with project funding. Secondly, this paper will add to the literature on the social constructionalist perspective of legitimation theory upon which this study is based. Unlike legitimacy theory, which focuses on the result [legitimacy], this paper will focus on the processes these three banks use to establish a relationship between their actions and their values through the use of environmental performance reports [legitimation].

Link to publisher version (URL)

British Accounting Association Conference