Purpose: The purpose of the study is to (1) compare the attitudes of managers toward social and environmental (SE) issues, (2) assess SE performance and quality and (3) determine SE disclosures in Australia and India. This study is important in gaining an understanding of current and potentially future managerial attitudes toward SE accountability and the environmental performance of selected environmentally intensive industries. Originality: The study provides a detailed comparative analysis of CSR from an emerging and developed economy perspective. The study uses Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) performance indicators and combined research method (primary and secondary data). Key literature / theoretical perspective: The study has taken Stakeholder and Legitimacy theory perspective. Design/methodology/approach: The approach uses both a questionnaire and content analysis within annual reports. Seventeen social and eighteen environmental performance indicators have been used. Findings: Australian respondents were concerned about specific issues within the broad social accountability continuum, whilst Indian respondents were concerned about a range of issues surrounding social accountability. Indian respondents were stronger in their support than the Australian respondents with respect to environmental attitudes. Significant differences did exist among respondents. SE reporting by Indian organisations is poorer in quality than Australian organisations. The extent of total disclosure is significantly higher for large organisations in the Forestry and Paper, Industrial Engineering, and Mining industries. The extent of total disclosure is unrelated to organisational age, external auditor size, and extent of multinational influence for both countries. Research limitations/implications: The study is limited by the use of imputation in analysis. Furthermore, culture was not explicitly explored as a possible factor in the study. However, the study contributed to the comparative CSR literature. Practical and Social implications: The paper argues for greater SE accounting (SEA) researcher engagement with SEA practice, particularly in emerging economies. The study demonstrates that challenge remain in improving the quality of SEA.