Abstract: The aim of the research summarized in this paper is to define the role of social reporting as an instrument for monitoring company performance and for company governance. Attention is focused on corporate groups, which are a particular means of organizing companies. First of all the research seeks to verify the state of the art in social and environmental reporting of corporate groups. In particular this paper aims to identify the distinctive features of environmental and social accounting in companies such as corporate groups where there is considerable distance between the Board of Directors and the front line. For holding companies there appears to be a less strongly felt need for accounting as regards specific business activities which, instead, are considered by stakeholders to be more related to controlled companies rather than to the parent company. A further aim of the paper is to discuss the real impact of social and environmental disclosure in auditing, accounting and management systems, through the study of the structure, the duration in years and the correspondence with the international best practices of Italian listed social reporting. Finally the paper aims to analyse the effect of social and environmental reporting on corporate missions. In particular the research analyses whether social and environmental accounting is adopted by Italian listed companies simply as an instrument of institutional communication, or whether it is used as a tool to redefine the companies’ goals, through a multistakeholder approach. The findings of the research suggest that: 1) in the Italian context, social and environmental reporting is still used more as a means of communication rather than as a managerial tool, hence there is a weak correlation with the organizational structure; 2) for Italian companies social reporting is not yet a governance tool, because it is not used for managing relations with internal and external stakeholders of the firm.