The Italian way towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure: Insights from a sample of listed companies

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Marialuisa Saviano ORCID logo, Silvia Cosimato ORCID logo, Nicola Cucari ORCID logo, Marzia Del Prete ORCID logo

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This study is aimed at providing some insights about the Italian listed companies approach to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure. A reference framework and a tested investigation model used for analyzing the Italian approach to ESG disclosure have been reported and discussed. Drawing on the Sustainability Helix Model, the results of a study conducted on the Non-Financial Statements of a sample of Italian listed companies on the basis of manual content analysis, and conducted to grasp their disposition and approach to ESG disclosure, are discussed. The study pointed out some specific characteristics of the Italian companies’ approach to ESG disclosure, which still suffer from voluntary and, therefore, somewhat a variety of practices. In this sense, policy and science should better support companies through specific laws and regulations as well as through learning/enhancing projects towards more effective ESG reporting and communication. The analysis offers interesting insights for public institutions, academy and companies on the way to further exploit and supporting ESG disclosure. The originality of this study lies upon the implementation of the Sustainability Helix Model to investigate the importance that open dialogue and shared action of the various actors involved can have in enhancing companies’ awareness about the importance of a strategic approach to sustainability and to its disclosure to gain the consensus of external stakeholders.

Keywords: Corporate Sustainability (CS), Environmental, Social and Governance, Disclosure, Sustainability Helix Model

JEL Classification: M14, Q01

Received: 06.08.2019
Accepted: 19.08.2019

How to cite: Saviano, M., Cosimato, S., Cucari, N., & Del Prete, M. (2019). The Italian way towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure: Insights from a sample of listed companies. In S. Esposito De Falco, F. Alvino, & A. Kostyuk (Eds.), New challenges in corporate governance: Theory and practice (pp. 220-235).