Summerhays, K. & De Villiers, C. (2012). Oil Company Annual Report Disclosure Responses to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Journal of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Accountability, 18(2): 103-130.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6730
This paper analyses the annual report disclosures of the other six largest oil companies in reaction to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It focusses on changes in disclosures that can be ascribed to the oil spill. The companies all increased their environmental disclosures, with positive disclosures increasing most. It shows the use of an image enhancement disclosure strategy and a (partial) disclaiming of responsibility disclosure strategy, but do not find evidence consistent with a deflection of attention disclosure strategy, probably due to the high profile of the incident. It is found that BP’s strategy of repeating disclosures about remedial activities several times in different parts of the annual report ensures: an emphasis on the positive, that all stakeholders regardless of their area of focus are likely to notice this disclosure, an increase in the volume of environmental disclosure, and that less detail can be disclosed, reducing litigation-related risks.
University of South Australia
© University of South Australia 2012. Used with permission.
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