IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v125y2014i4p637-666.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does the Voluntary Adoption of Corporate Governance Mechanisms Improve Environmental Risk Disclosures? Evidence from Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting

Author

Listed:
  • Gary Peters

    ()

  • Andrea Romi

    ()

Abstract

Prior research suggests that voluntary environmental governance mechanisms operate to enhance a firm’s environmental legitimacy as opposed to being a driver of proactive environmental performance activities. To understand how these mechanisms contribute to the firm’s environmental legitimacy, we investigate whether environmental corporate governance characteristics are associated with voluntary environmental disclosure. We examine an increasingly important attribute of a firm’s disclosure setting, namely the disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) information. GHG information represents proprietary non-financial information about the firm’s exposure to environmental concerns and is related to the firm’s operations and future profitability. Thus, we expect governance participants would view such information as a potentially important strategic device for managing stakeholders’ demands for information concerning environmental risks. We find that the presence of an environmental committee and a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is positively associated with the likelihood of GHG disclosure and that CSOs are associated with disclosure transparency. Further analysis reveals that the likelihood of disclosure is associated with committee size, number of committee meetings, expertise of committee members and CSO, and overlap between the environmental committee and audit committee. Only expertise of the environmental committee members and the CSO are associated with GHG disclosure transparency, while larger committees tend to be associated with lower transparency. Our results are particularly important to those with interests in evaluating the potential role that corporate governance mechanisms play in responding to stakeholder concerns about environmental risks. Directors and officers who are considering appointment to similar governance positions, may wish to consider what attributes would make such governance positions more influential. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Peters & Andrea Romi, 2014. "Does the Voluntary Adoption of Corporate Governance Mechanisms Improve Environmental Risk Disclosures? Evidence from Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 125(4), pages 637-666, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:125:y:2014:i:4:p:637-666
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1886-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10551-013-1886-9
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michelle Rodrigue & Michel Magnan & Charles Cho, 2013. "Is Environmental Governance Substantive or Symbolic? An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 107-129, April.
    2. Haniffa, R.M. & Cooke, T.E., 2005. "The impact of culture and governance on corporate social reporting," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 391-430.
    3. Eng, L. L. & Mak, Y. T., 2003. "Corporate governance and voluntary disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 325-345.
    4. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R. & Rajgopal, Shiva, 2005. "The economic implications of corporate financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-3), pages 3-73, December.
    5. Joseph Carcello, 2009. "Governance and the Common Good," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 11-18, May.
    6. Olivier Boiral & Pascal Paillé, 2012. "Organizational Citizenship Behaviour for the Environment: Measurement and Validation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 109(4), pages 431-445, September.
    7. Niamh M. Brennan & Jill Solomon, 2008. "Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: an overview," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(7), pages 885-906, September.
    8. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-488, June.
    9. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-483, December.
    10. Cedric Dawkins & John Fraas, 2011. "Erratum to: Beyond Acclamations and Excuses: Environmental Performance, Voluntary Environmental Disclosure and the Role of Visibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(3), pages 383-397, March.
    11. Patten, Dennis M., 2002. "The relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 763-773, November.
    12. Cowen, Scott S. & Ferreri, Linda B. & Parker, Lee D., 1987. "The impact of corporate characteristics on social responsibility disclosure: A typology and frequency-based analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 111-122, March.
    13. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    14. Olivier Boiral, 2009. "Greening the Corporation Through Organizational Citizenship Behaviors," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 221-236, June.
    15. Denis Cormier & Michel Magnan & Barbara Van Velthoven, 2005. "Environmental disclosure quality in large German companies: Economic incentives, public pressures or institutional conditions?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 3-39.
    16. Trueman, Brett, 1986. "Why do managers voluntarily release earnings forecasts?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 53-71, March.
    17. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    18. Diamond, Douglas W, 1985. " Optimal Release of Information by Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1071-1094, September.
    19. Neu, D. & Warsame, H. & Pedwell, K., 1998. "Managing public impressions: environmental disclosures in annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 265-282, April.
    20. Ingram, Rw & Frazier, Kb, 1980. "Environmental Performance And Corporate Disclosure," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 614-622.
    21. Skinner, Douglas J., 1997. "Earnings disclosures and stockholder lawsuits," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 249-282, November.
    22. Charles Cho & Dennis Patten & Robin Roberts, 2006. "Corporate Political Strategy: An Examination of the Relation between Political Expenditures, Environmental Performance, and Environmental Disclosure," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 139-154, August.
    23. Cho, Charles H. & Patten, Dennis M., 2007. "The role of environmental disclosures as tools of legitimacy: A research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(7-8), pages 639-647.
    24. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    25. Cho, Charles H. & Roberts, Robin W. & Patten, Dennis M., 2010. "The language of US corporate environmental disclosure," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 431-443, May.
    26. Klein, April, 2002. "Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 375-400, August.
    27. Charles H. Cho & Martin Freedman & Dennis M. Patten, 2012. "Corporate disclosure of environmental capital expenditures: A test of alternative theories," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 486-507, March.
    28. Francis, J & Philbrick, D & Schipper, K, 1994. "Shareholder Litigation And Corporate Disclosures," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(2), pages 137-164.
    29. Hopwood, Anthony G., 2009. "Accounting and the environment," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 433-439, April.
    30. Pratima Bansal & Geoffrey Kistruck, 2006. "Seeing Is (Not) Believing: Managing the Impressions of the Firm’s Commitment to the Natural Environment," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 165-180, August.
    31. Wiseman, Joanne, 1982. "An evaluation of environmental disclosures made in corporate annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-63, January.
    32. Irene Karamanou & Nikos Vafeas, 2005. "The Association between Corporate Boards, Audit Committees, and Management Earnings Forecasts: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 453-486, June.
    33. Dye, Ronald A., 2001. "An evaluation of "essays on disclosure" and the disclosure literature in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-3), pages 181-235, December.
    34. Michaela Rankin & Carolyn Windsor & Dina Wahyuni, 2011. "An investigation of voluntary corporate greenhouse gas emissions reporting in a market governance system: Australian evidence," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1037-1070, October.
    35. Larelle Chapple & Peter M. Clarkson & Daniel L. Gold, 2013. "The Cost of Carbon: Capital Market Effects of the Proposed Emission Trading Scheme ( ETS )," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 49(1), pages 1-33, March.
    36. Lang, M & Lundholm, R, 1993. "Cross-Sectional Determinants Of Analyst Ratings Of Corporate Disclosures," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 246-271.
    37. Patten, Dennis M., 2005. "The accuracy of financial report projections of future environmental capital expenditures: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 457-468, July.
    38. Al-Tuwaijri, Sulaiman A. & Christensen, Theodore E. & Hughes, K. II, 2004. "The relations among environmental disclosure, environmental performance, and economic performance: a simultaneous equations approach," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(5-6), pages 447-471.
    39. Clarkson, Peter M. & Li, Yue & Richardson, Gordon D. & Vasvari, Florin P., 2008. "Revisiting the relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(4-5), pages 303-327.
    40. Manuel Branco & Lúcia Rodrigues, 2008. "Factors Influencing Social Responsibility Disclosure by Portuguese Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 685-701, December.
    41. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    42. Cheng-Li Huang & Fan-Hua Kung, 2010. "Drivers of Environmental Disclosure and Stakeholder Expectation: Evidence from Taiwan," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 435-451, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Zabihollah Rezaee & Ling Tuo, 2019. "Are the Quantity and Quality of Sustainability Disclosures Associated with the Innate and Discretionary Earnings Quality?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 763-786, March.
    2. Jenna J. Burke & Rani Hoitash & Udi Hoitash, 2019. "The Heterogeneity of Board-Level Sustainability Committees and Corporate Social Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 1161-1186, February.
    3. Boeva, Bistra, 2015. "Corporate Governance and Global Supply Chains: How Self -regulation Replaces the Lack of Regulatory Initiatives or Do Regulatory Initiatives Add Value to Corporate Governance," MPRA Paper 70680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. David Talbot & Olivier Boiral, 2018. "GHG Reporting and Impression Management: An Assessment of Sustainability Reports from the Energy Sector," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 147(2), pages 367-383, January.
    5. Jung Wan Lee & Young Min Kim & Young Ei Kim, 2018. "Antecedents of Adopting Corporate Environmental Responsibility and Green Practices," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 148(2), pages 397-409, March.
    6. Krishnamurti, Chandrasekhar & Velayutham, Eswaran, 2018. "The influence of board committee structures on voluntary disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions: Australian evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 65-81.
    7. Fatemi, Ali & Glaum, Martin & Kaiser, Stefanie, 2018. "ESG performance and firm value: The moderating role of disclosure," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 45-64.
    8. Tang, Qingliang, 2016. "Carbon management system study: Contributions, limitations, and future opportunities: A response to discussion comments (2016)," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 310-314.
    9. DeBoskey, D.G. & Luo, Yan & Wang, Jeff J., 2018. "Do specialized board committees impact the transparency of corporate political disclosure? Evidence from S&P 500 companies," Research in Accounting Regulation, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 8-19.
    10. Yuchen Shen & Mohammad Tazul Islam & Michiyuki Yagi & Katsuhiko Kokubu, 2015. "How do firms' climate-related management and strategy affect climate change risks and opportunities awareness?," Discussion Papers 2015-26, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    11. Michiyuki Yagi & Katsuhiko Kokubu, 2017. "Introductory analysis of sustainable consumption and production: Factors of corporate social responsibility management in Japan," Discussion Papers 2017-19, Kobe University, Graduate School of Business Administration.
    12. Yang Stephanie Liu & Xiaoyan Zhou & Jessica Yang & Andreas Hoepner, 2016. "Corporate Carbon Emission and Financial Performance: Does Carbon Disclosure Mediate the Relationship in the UK?," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2016-03, Henley Business School, Reading University.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:125:y:2014:i:4:p:637-666. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.