ADBI Working Paper Series
Environmental information disclosure strategies, which involve corporate attempts to increase the availability of information on pollution and emissions, can become a basis for a new wave of environmental protection policy that follows and has the potential to complement traditional command and control and market-based approaches. Although a growing body of literature and operational programs suggest that publicly disclosing the information can motivate improved corporate environmental performance, this phenomenon remains poorly understood. This paper reviews the economic and legitimacy theory behind information disclosure and analyzes the current practice and programs adopted in industrialized and industrializing countries. Admittedly few in number, the cases studied reveal the advantages of such voluntary approaches, when the countries of developing Asia must deal with weak institutions, growing markets, and strong communities. Factors that contributed to widespread success of selected programs in the People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the United States are information quality, the dissemination mechanisms, provision of incentives for good performers, and public and private pressure.