Does it cost to be sustainable?
We investigate whether firms’ corporate social performance (CSP) ratings impact their performance (cost of capital) and risk. Using a proprietary CSP ratings database, we find no difference in the risk-adjusted performance of UK firms with high and low CSP ratings. Additionally, the firms do not differ in their amount of idiosyncratic risk. We find some evidence of high-ranked firms being larger. The empirical evidence therefore indicates that investors and managers are able to implement a CSP investment or business strategy without incurring any significant financial cost (or benefit) in terms of risk or return.
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