Forcing Corporations to be better Environmental Citizens: Does it really work?
Karen Bubna-Litic, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Australia introduced a mandatory environmental reporting requirement into the Corporations Law in 1998. It required all public companies, in their Director’s Reports, within their Annual Reports, to provide details of their environmental performance. Norway is the only other country to have a similar provision. Ever since its introduction, the corporate world has argued for its demise, ostensibly on the basis that environmental regulation should be in environmental laws, not in mainstream corporation laws. Despite very strong efforts arguing for its removal, s 299(1)(f) remains in the Corporations Act 2001, requiring companies to report on their environmental performance. The author has produced two reports (in 1999 and 2003) examining compliance under this section and this paper will look at some of the findings from her work in the context of whether this section has been effective. The paper will also compare the Norwegian experience.

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