Corporations have a huge impact on the environment both at the local, national, and international level. Information on their policies related to sustainability, pollution, and use of natural resources is necessary to hold these corporations accountable to national and international standards for environmental protection. However, often-times corporate actors are still able to operate under a cloud of secrecy. Countries need to create effective data tools that address environmental concerns and that communicate the risk posed by corporate actions.
Steps that governments can take to improve access to corporate environmental information:
- Develop public disclosure programmes that release information on the quality of air and water, as well as discharges into the environment, by private corporations and state-owned companies acknowledging that this can assist in promoting pollution prevention, abatement, and good corporate behaviour.
- Provide environmental information in a usable and understandable format to effectively explain risks to local communities.
- Emission and discharge data from the corporate sector must be provided to the Government to enable monitoring of the environment. This information should be released in the public interest and not fall within the category of commercially confidential information as it directly relates to the environment and public health.