Sustainability Content on Oil and Gas Company Websites

Sylvie Berthelot, Michel Coulmont, Kim Thibault


This study examines the sustainability content and the determinants underlying such content on Canadian oil and gas company websites. The website content of 68 of the largest oil firms listed on the S&P/TSX was evaluated using an index based on each of the three Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) components (environmental, social and economic). The characteristics of the firms were then regressed on the content analysis. The results suggest that the larger the firm and the greater its media exposure, the more likely it is to include sustainability disclosures on its website. Firm profitability and leverage seem to be unrelated to these types of disclosures. This study provides empirical observations that could be useful for stakeholders wishing to obtain information about firms’ sustainability practices and for various organizations involved in developing sustainability disclosure guidelines. The results tend to show that, despite the growing popularity of sustainability reporting benchmarks like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the voluntary nature of sustainability disclosures has elicited a variety of disclosure practices on organizations’ websites.

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Business and Management Research
ISSN 1927-6001 (Print)   ISSN 1927-601X (Online)

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