Users’ perception of decision-usefulness of corporate environmental reports

  • Published March 24, 2016
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    Volume 7 2016, Issue #1, pp. 87-96

This article aims to investigate the users’ perception of decision-usefulness of environmental reports produced by listed South African companies. The results of this questionnaire survey indicate that the users do read environmental reports, and that they employ the reports for making various decisions for various purposes such as education or research, own knowledge and to hold companies accountable. In addition, environmental reports are also used, to a lesser extent, to decide whether or not to; buy a company’s products, invest or disinvest from a company, partner with a company, support or launch action against a company.
The results further indicate that users generally perceive environmental reports to be useful for the purpose which they were used, as most users perceive them to be understandable and relevant, and to a lesser extent reliable, timely, verifiable and comparable. The results also reveal that most users are not satisfied with the decision-usefulness of the environmental reports. They thus provide various suggestions for improvement of the reports, most of which focus on the reliability and relevance of the reports. Taken together, the results indicate that users perceive the environmental reports produced by listed South Africa companies to be decision-useful, however there is a need for improvement of the reports particularly regarding their reliability

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