Climate Change Reporting: Evidence from Bangladesh
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One of the least contributors to climate change, yet one of the worst effected victims of it. Such is the condition of Bangladesh who has no scope to undermine the importance of the issue of climate change. So, what are the organisations of this country doing to mitigate climate change and its effects? This is the focus of this study. To find out the climate change disclosure practice in Bangladesh, the study does a content analysis of the 2016 annual reports of the 82 sample companies listed under Dhaka Stock exchange. The study finds very poor disclosure level by the companies. The average climate change disclosure index(CCDI) is 3.02 out of maximum score of 28. The maximum score is 12 which is attained by Grameen phone ltd and Islami Bank Bangladesh ltd. The telecommunication industry ranks the first in terms of average CCDI (12), followed by the banking industry (8.63). Although unsatisfactory climate change disclosures levels, however all the sample banks fall amongst the top 5 companies in terms of their CCDI. The banks are bound by green policies mandated by Bangladesh Bank, as a result of which all are found to engage in green banking activities with at least a minimum CCDI of 7. Companies have disclosed most about the climate change reduction strategies and associated cost, followed by disclosures of climate change risk related issues. Disclosures on GHG (greenhouse gas) emission is close to nil. Only 1 disclosure was made out of the expected maximum 574 disclosures. Most companies have disclosed their energy consumption level in comparison with previous year, however, all the other items under the category ‘Energy Consumption Accounting’ received no disclosure at all. It is also surprising to find that heavily polluting industries such as fuel & power, Paper & printing, Tannery, Cement etc. have very poor climate change disclosure indices. In response to such poor disclosure practice,1. government should impose environmental policies for all industries with entailing incentives and penalties following conformance and non-conformance respectively.2) To emphasize the importance of climate change in Bangladesh, green campaigns may be carried out out along with advertisement in broadcast media, social media etc. Increased awareness amongst stakeholders are assumed to pressurize organisations to adopt more environment friendly activities.
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