Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Second Department


Reader 1

Mary F. Evans

Rights Information

© 2013 Sean Robert Smith


In recent years, many firms have voluntarily taken actions to gradually increase the transparency of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. Using data on a sample of U.S. firms, this paper empirically examines the factors that encourage firms to choose different levels of CSR transparency. This adds to the previous literature that has focused only on the binary decision to engage or not to engage in CSR, as opposed to the extent and comprehensiveness of voluntary CSR reporting. Environmental transparency data are collected from the Roberts Environmental Center (REC) at Claremont McKenna College, while data for firm characteristics and toxic releases are collected from Standard & Poor’s Compustat North American and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Robust regression analysis of environmental transparency shows that consumer, investor, and community stakeholders significantly increase the level of environmental transparency. In addition, environmental transparency is higher among firms that compete internationally relative to those with only a domestic presence.