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Disclosure of corporate social responsibility in the forestry sector of the Congo Basin

Rui Colaço and João Simão

Forest Policy and Economics, 2018, vol. 92, issue C, 136-147

Abstract: The Congo Basin (CB) region is highly relevant in both environmental and social terms. Due to the various roles and meanings that forests play in the region, it becomes urgent to understand how forestry companies disclose their (alleged) corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. This work aims at identifying which CSR themes are more often disclosed by companies, and verifying geographical patterns according to their headquarters location, in a region where studies on the subject are scarce. A grid of CSR themes enabled the analysis of the website contents of 37 forestry sector firms operating in the CB. Companies were divided in three geographical regions, according to the location of their headquarters: West, Africa, and Asia. The results suggest that the companies value timber certification and prefer to focus on disclosing environmental themes related to their operations. Education and health are the most disclosed themes, in line with contractual obligations. There is a clear relation between the disclosure and the geographical origin of the companies: Western companies disclose more than their Asian and African counterparts. The near-absence of disclosure around human and workers' rights by Asian companies is notorious.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Congo Basin; Forestry sector; Disclosure; Environment; Social (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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