Analysing the State of Sector-Specific CSR Reporting: Evidence From Pakistan

Analysing the State of Sector-Specific CSR Reporting: Evidence From Pakistan

Muzammal Khan
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5590-6.ch018
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This chapter aims to deepen understanding of trends in corporate social responsibility reporting (CSRR) practices in Pakistan since the introduction of voluntary reporting guidelines in 2009 by the Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) and their updating in 2013. Quantitative content analysis was applied to CSRR for the chemicals, oil and gas, banking, cement, and manufacturing industries in Pakistan. The results were benchmarked to the guidelines issued on social and environmental aspects by the SECP. It was found that the reports issued by the highly polluting industries such as oil and gas, cement, and chemical industries reported significantly higher levels of information than the other sectors. The results indicate the appropriateness of industry-specific reporting and suggest, in line with local guidelines, that further standardisation is required to level the playing field of CSRR in Pakistan.
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Organisational reporting practice has received significant interest over the last two decades, with growth in the recognition of CSRR globally (de Villiers et al., 2014; Gao, 2011; Tilt, 2016; Vurro & Perrini, 2011). Research has found an increase in regulations and an increase in voluntary guidelines for CSRR. For example, the UK regulatory body (The Environment Agency) introduced the regulation in 2013 requiring all listed companies to disclose information on businesses’ impact on the environment. Many other countries, e.g. Australia, Malaysia and South Africa have introduced reforms and voluntary guidelines in CSRR practices (de Villiers et al., 2014).

This recent trend in introducing voluntary CSRR guidelines has since emerged in developing countries (Kansal et al., 2016; Tilt, 2016). SECP issued voluntary guidelines in 2009, followed by detailed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) voluntary guidelines in 2013, encouraging listed companies to disclose on CSRR matters (Malik & Kanwal, 2016). The guidelines emphasised the reporting of CSR aspects, for example, a quote from the guidelines highlights this urgency stating that “companies are expected to report concise and material information regarding their CSR policy and activities that may be consolidated and reported in the form of a separate CSR” (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, 2013). the implementation of voluntary guidelines in Pakistan is intended to improve the reputation and attractiveness of Pakistan in the global business market.

In Pakistan, both CSR and the debate on CSRR is on the rise. Companies adopting voluntary CSRR practices are becoming more focused on internationalising business, and Pakistan is already a home for more than 50 multinational companies (Javaid Lone et al., 2016). Pakistan has cultural, social, political, and economic aspects that make it both different and interesting to study. There has been fluctuating levels of economic development in Pakistan, yet the economy survives due to the abundance of natural resources and human capital (Bowering et al., 2012).

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