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dc.contributor.authorNilipour Tabatabaei, A.en
dc.contributor.authorDe Silva, Tracy-Anneen
dc.contributor.authorLi, Xuedongen
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines the readability of sustainability reporting in the annual reports, and stand-alone reports of New Zealand listed companies over a ten-year period. Sustainability reporting was manually extracted from 264 reports, and readability software was used to identify the readability scores using five readability indices. Additionally, the effects of reporting quantity, environmental sensitivity, and global listing on the readability of sustainability reporting were examined. The results show that over the ten-year period readability has improved by only 6.5 per cent, despite a substantial increase in the number of companies reporting sustainability information, and an increase in the quantity of sustainability reporting from almost a third of the companies. This research also finds that there is a statistically significant negative correlation between the average readability score and reporting quantity; meaning longer sustainability reports have lower readability scores (i.e. they are more readable). The findings indicate that environmentally sensitive companies published more readable sustainability information in comparison to companies from non-environmentally sensitive industries. However, in terms of readability, there is no difference between the reports published by companies listed only on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) and the reports published by companies listed on multiple stock exchanges. This research is the first readability study examining sustainability reporting in New Zealand. It provides companies, users of sustainability information and regulators with knowledge of the readability of voluntary sustainability reporting, showing that little change has occurred over time. It suggests a strong possibility of obfuscation and thus, a risk that sustainability reporting is sending the wrong signal to stakeholders.en
dc.format.extent86-107 (21)en
dc.publisherUniversity of Wollongongen
dc.relationThe original publication is available from - University of Wollongong - -
dc.rights© 2020 Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal and The Authors.en
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International*
dc.subjectsustainability reportingen
dc.subjectenvironmental sensitivityen
dc.subjectNew Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX)en
dc.subjectglobal listingen
dc.titleThe readability of sustainability reporting in New Zealand over timeen
dc.typeJournal Article
lu.contributor.unitLincoln Universityen
lu.contributor.unitFaculty of Agribusiness and Commerceen
lu.contributor.unitDepartment of Financial and Business Systemsen
dc.subject.anzsrc150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reportingen
dc.relation.isPartOfAustralasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journalen
pubs.notesSpecial Issue from the Environmental Social & Governance for Sustainability Colloquium Article: 7en
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce/FABS
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office/PE20
pubs.organisational-group/LU/Research Management Office/QE18

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