Don wants increased environmental reporting
From Agboola Fesobi, Owo
Environmental reporting has been described as one of the panacea to curtail environmental and health challenges in Nigeria.
A guest lecturer, Dr. Olugbenga Junaid stated this at the 6th inaugural lecture series of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, (RUGIPO) titled “Environmental Reporting Quality in Nigeria: Corporate Governance and External Engagement Determinants”.
According to Junaid, the need to curtail environmental and health challenges for the well-being of the populace cannot be over-emphasised.
He said that the lecture was apt, especially with the increasing public concern for the environment, continuous yearning for increased environmental reporting and the importance of corporate determinants.
“To curb the trend, this has propelled companies and educational institutions all over the world to seek ways of mitigating the negative impacts of this menace on the environment.
“This can also be done through the dissemination of qualitative environmental information to stakeholders. Moreover, there are extensive studies on the role of Global Reporting Initiative (IGR) in determining the environmental performance indicators and the extent of annual reporting in corporate websites and newsletters in the developed world”, he stated.
The don highlighted some of the solutions to this to include investigating the level of environmental reporting quality among companies in Nigeria, finding out if there is a significant impact of corporate governance (board education, audit committee independence, foreign ownership) on environmental quality among others.
He opined that this will help to ascertain the extent to which firms engage in (media exposure, environmental assurance statement, among others) as it affects the environmental reporting and to determine the extent of paper usage in office.
Junaid recommended that the companies should ensure full compliance with the code of corporate governance in Nigeria in order to improve the level of environmental information disclosure to various stakeholders.
“Environmental reporting should be made mandatory and enforcement of GRI guidelines be carried out to improve the current level and trends of reporting, such mandatory requirements would compel companies and educational institutions to measure, monitor, account and report on their environmental impacts.
“Educational institutions should adopt the principle of environmental bonuses through online services to reduce the use of papers, filing cabinets, folders and shelves in offices, thereby saving cost”, he concluded.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Mr Gani Ogundahunsi, noted that the lecture series serves as a social platform for individuals to showcase what they can offer as well as add to the existing knowledge required to address societal needs.