Transparency and the sustainability reporting practice of Norwegian Companies
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- Master Thesis 
The world’s climate is changing, and companies around the world are irreversibly impacting societies and the environment. Regulators are increasingly turning to non-financial disclosure regulations as a tool to increase corporate transparency about social and environmental issues. The goal is to make companies accountable for their impact on their environment and to incentivize better corporate social and environmental performance. To achieve this, stakeholders need information on how well corporations perform on these issues. This study is aimed at finding out how transparent corporations are in disclosing quantitative performance measures. This is done in a Norwegian context, drawing a sample of companies affected by the 2013 amendment to the Norwegian Accounting Act. The amendment added requirements for non-financial disclosure for large companies in Norway. This study used a transparency framework to assess the transparency of annual reports from 2014. This revealed a varying degree of transparency on the different categories in the framework. Most importantly, this study found that transparency on environmental issues is alarmingly low. Secondly, it found that the specificity of the Accounting Act may play a role in the variability of transparency across different issues. Therefore, there is a need for more knowledge on how the regulators’ tools are affecting performance.