THE INFLUENCE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ATTRIBUTES
The principal objective of this research is to ascertain the influence of corporate governance attributes on environmental sustainability reporting in quoted manufacturing companies in Nigeria. This research employed ex-post facto design and content analysis. The sample for the study was made up of 31 manufacturing companies which were selected using the simple random sampling technique of quoted manufacturing companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange covering a time frame of nine (9) years (2010-2018). This research utilized secondary data. The study found that board size is significant on environmental sustainability reporting on quoted companies in Nigeria. The study also found that CEO tenure, board gender diversity, firm size has no significant influence on environmental sustainability reporting on quoted companies in Nigeria. In view of findings, it is recommended that stock exchange regulator (SEC) and CBN should monitor companies in Nigeria to ensure that they fully implement the disclosure requirements of the corporate governance code and sustainability reporting guidelines. Companies should develop their internal organizational processes in the area of subscribing to assurance on sustainability reporting in order to enhance the credibility of information embedded in such reports.
1.1 Background of the Study
In the last three decades ago, corporate governance has become a priority for both the business and international community’s (Rossouw, 2005). The prominence of corporate governance is further highlighted due to the series of corporate collapses that brought the need for change around the globe. Corporate organizations are operating in ever more complex systems that are subjected not only to commercial and economic pressures, but also social and environmental pressures from governments, shareholders, investors, creditors, suppliers, civil societies, consumers, managers and workers (Rossouw, 2005). A number of these pressures are external to the company, like explicit government requirements or more general expectations of social legitimacy (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). An organization is said to be socially and environmentally sustainable when it internalizes social costs, maintain and grow the capital stock. Kaptein and Wempe, (2001) argued that socially and environmentally sustainable companies are those that are seen to be fair and trustworthy by all stakeholders. In the assessment of a business management from the point of view of environmental responsibility, (Tokoro. 2007) believes that the actions of the shareholders constitute a major restrictive factor in a corporation’s activities. He therefore put forward that, Sustainability Practices is to be measured by means of a framework which consists of a triple bottom line of economic, environmental and societal topics. He further adds that actions have been taken by shareholders to participate in the role of socially responsible investment (SRI) funds. This approach to investment considers the environmental and social factors as well as the financial performance when selecting the company in which to invest.
There are numerous definitions of corporate governance. For example, (O’Donovan, 2003) defines corporate governance as “an internal system encompassing policies, processes and people, which serve the needs of shareholders and other stakeholders, by directing and controlling management activities with good business confidence, objectivity, accountability and integrity”. Zingales (1998) cited in (Newman, 1998) define corporate governance as a complex set of constraints that shape the ex post bargaining over the quasi-rents generated by a firm. Hussey (1999), describes corporate governance as the way in which organizations are supervised and the nature of accountability of the managers to the proprietors. Cadbury (1992), define corporate governance as a “system by which businesses are directed and controlled.” However, this study agrees with the definition of Sir Adrian (2003), corporate governance is “concerned with holding the balance between economic and social goals and between individual and communal goal, the aim is to align as nearly as possible the interests of individuals, corporations and society” as cited in (Nmehielle and Nwauche, 2004).
McGee and Preobragenskaya, (2004) mentioned the importance of corporate governance in transition economies such as Nigeria. According to them “Corporate governance has become an important topic in transition economies in recent years. Directors, owners and corporate managers have started to realize that there are benefits that can accrue from having a good corporate governance structure. Good corporate governance helps to increase share price and makes it easier to obtain capital. International investors are hesitant to lend money or buy shares in a corporation that does not subscribe to good corporate governance principles. Transparency, independent directors and a separate audit committee are especially important. Some international investors will not seriously consider investing in a company that does not have these things”. There are two polar systems of corporate governance: the market-based system (Shareholder Model) and the relationship based or block-holder based system. The former prevails in the UK, USA, and the Commonwealth countries such as Nigeria, and relies on legal rules largely resulting from case law and on the effective legal enforcement of shareholder rights. The block-holder-based system of Continental Europe relies on codified law and emphasizes rules protecting stakeholders such as creditors and employees. The two systems differ not only in terms of the rationale behind their legal rules, but also in terms of their ownership and control. Most Continental European companies are characterized by majority or near-majority stakes held by one or few investors. In contrast, the Anglo-American system is characterized by dispersed equity. Increasing economic globalization has fueled the debate on the best corporate governance system and the barriers to the development of a single system of corporate governance (Goergen, Martynova, and Renneboog, 2005). Therefore, the difference between these two models is not as stark as it first seems, it is instead a question of emphasis (Maher &Andersson 1999).
Corporate Sustainability Reporting (CSR) has become a mainstream business activity. The Amsterdam Declaration on Transparency and reporting of the Board of The Global Reporting Initiative from March 2009 disclose that global leaders from business, labour and civil society declared their belief that the lack of transparency in the existing system for corporate reporting has failed its stakeholders. It brought a new impulse to reporting on environmental, social and governance performance. The development in the field of corporate sustainability and environmental reporting in the Czech Republic reflect the overall global world trends. The available statistics show that through all objective benefits the corporate sustainability and environmental reporting can bring to businesses, the existing motivation is not sufficient to make this a normal business practice as compared to the financial accounting and reporting. On the one hand, some large corporations are actively performing global reporting initiatives; on the other hand, the relative share of these companies is rather small.
According to Mallin, (2009), CSR denotes to the manner in which companies align its beliefs and actions with those of its different stakeholders. The stakeholders of an organization include the titleholders, employees, consumers, contractors, government and many others that are indirectly or directly associated with the organization. They are viewed as a collection that tolerates a number of risks as a consequence of funding the financial and human resource in the organization. Burchell, (2008) advocates, that the perception of stakeholder personalizes community responsibilities. Furthermore, he suggested that managers are faced with the choice of sorting out the meaning of each stakeholder entitlements. It was reasoned that two central criteria employed are, the shareholders’ legitimacy and shareholders’ power. Although, the win-win result is not possible all the time, then, it is management’s burden to make sure that every primary stakeholder attains their purposes, so also other stakeholders must also be fulfilled (Burchell, 2008). The majority of public companies are not just engaging in a social responsibility project, but also commit significant resources to reporting Sustainability Practices to their stakeholders (KPMG, 2003 cited in Bhattacharya, Korschun, and Sen, (2009). As illustrated by Bhattacharya, Bhattacharya, Korschun, and Sen, (2009), the business circumstance for Sustainability Practice is buttressed in scholarly writings. It is the belief that an organization’s venture in Sustainability Practice initiatives can be responsible for incomes for the occupation, and also that the stakeholder’s reward Sustainability Practices doings of such corporations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Traditionally, a corporation’s main objective is to grow, survive and maximize value for its owner (shareholders), the positive effect of reporting environmental sustainability is that it will lead to high level of investment. Due to this trend of growing awareness and public pressure, it has become competitively advantageous for corporations to boast sustainable development. As the public has become more supportive of greening initiatives, and the demographic of the population of environmentally concerned citizens has expanded (Mainieri et al, 1997). The factors which are negatively affecting environmental sustainability reporting generally are lack of corporate governance, no enactment of environmental laws, high cost of reporting environmental sustainability and poor environmental sustainability reporting awareness. to meet these objectives, they prepare conventional financial reports to investors, potential investors, shareholders and other stakeholders to show their financial performance but this reports usually do not reflect the effect of the operations of the corporation on the environment. Corporate mismanagement is a strong reason why investors, employees, and society push for the firm to engage in socially responsible behavior. Even though existing laws and regulations dictate company actions regarding accounting practices, corporate governance procedures, and direct environmental impacts, compliance by firms may still sometimes waver. Disregard for various laws and safety regulations have resulted in some of the most prominent environmental disasters and human rights violations caused by corporations. These occasions do not just occur by happenstance, but by negligent behavior to amass profusion – while society bears the cost.
THE INFLUENCE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ATTRIBUTES ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING IN QUOTED MANUFACTURING COMPANIES IN NIGERIA.