IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v150y2018i4d10.1007_s10551-016-3207-6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Carbon Risk, Carbon Risk Awareness and the Cost of Debt Financing

Author

Listed:
  • Juhyun Jung

    (The University of Queensland)

  • Kathleen Herbohn

    (The University of Queensland)

  • Peter Clarkson

    (The University of Queensland
    Simon Fraser University)

Abstract

We seek insights into potential benefits for firms adopting strategies to improve business sustainability in a carbon-constrained future. We investigate whether lenders incorporate a firm’s exposure to carbon-related risk into lending decisions through the cost of financing, and if so, importantly whether firms can mitigate the penalty by demonstrating an awareness of their carbon risks. We use a sample of 255 firm-year observations from eight industries over the period 2009–2013. We measure carbon-related risk exposure as the firm’s historical carbon emissions and our primary measure of carbon risk awareness is based on the firm’s willingness to respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) survey. We document a positive association between cost of debt and carbon risk for firms failing to respond to the CDP. Further, this association is economically meaningful, with a one standard deviation increase in carbon risk mapping into between a 38 and 62 basis point increase in the cost of debt. Equally, we find that this penalty is effectively negated for firms exhibiting carbon risk awareness. Our results are robust when we consider alternate measures of carbon awareness—disclosure through alternative medium to the CDP and firms’ annual cash investment in new capital assets using “cleaner” technology. Our results highlight not only the importance of carbon awareness as a business strategy for polluting firms, but also its importance to lenders exposed to their clients’ default and reputational risk. The debt market appears to incorporate historical carbon emissions and forward-looking indicators of carbon performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Juhyun Jung & Kathleen Herbohn & Peter Clarkson, 2018. "Carbon Risk, Carbon Risk Awareness and the Cost of Debt Financing," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 150(4), pages 1151-1171, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:150:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3207-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-016-3207-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-016-3207-6
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10551-016-3207-6?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    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. Francis, Jennifer & LaFond, Ryan & Olsson, Per & Schipper, Katherine, 2005. "The market pricing of accruals quality," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 295-327, June.
    2. Jan Bebbington & Carlos Larrinaga-Gonzalez, 2008. "Carbon Trading: Accounting and Reporting Issues," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 697-717.
    3. Husam Aldamen & Keith Duncan, 2013. "Pricing of innate and discretionary accruals in Australian debt," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(1), pages 31-53, March.
    4. Stern,Nicholas, 2007. "The Economics of Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521700801.
    5. Pittman, Jeffrey A. & Fortin, Steve, 2004. "Auditor choice and the cost of debt capital for newly public firms," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 113-136, February.
    6. Philip Gray & Ping-Sheng Koh & Yen H Tong, 2009. "Accruals Quality, Information Risk and Cost of Capital: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1-2), pages 51-72.
    7. Jamie Alcock & Frank Finn & Kelvin Jui Keng Tan, 2012. "The determinants of debt maturity in Australian firms," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 52(2), pages 313-341, June.
    8. Busch, Timo & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2007. "Emerging carbon constraints for corporate risk management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 518-528, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Qingliang Tang & Le Luo, 2014. "Carbon Management Systems and Carbon Mitigation," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 24(1), pages 84-98, March.
    11. Peter Romilly, 2007. "Business and climate change risk: a regional time series analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(3), pages 474-480, May.
    12. Clarkson, Peter M. & Li, Yue & Richardson, Gordon D. & Vasvari, Florin P., 2011. "Does it really pay to be green? Determinants and consequences of proactive environmental strategies," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 122-144, March.
    13. Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto & Carlos Serrano-Cinca & Juan Camón-Cala, 2016. "A Credit Score System for Socially Responsible Lending," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(4), pages 691-701, February.
    14. Florence Depoers & Thomas Jeanjean & Tiphaine Jerome, 2016. "Voluntary Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Contrasting the Carbon Disclosure Project and Corporate Reports," Post-Print hal-01735774, HAL.
    15. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Guay, Wayne R. & Weber, Joseph P., 2010. "The role of information and financial reporting in corporate governance and debt contracting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 179-234, December.
    16. Husam Aldamen & Keith Duncan, 2012. "Does adopting good corporate governance impact the cost of intermediated and non-intermediated debt?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 52, pages 49-76, October.
    17. Goss, Allen & Roberts, Gordon S., 2011. "The impact of corporate social responsibility on the cost of bank loans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1794-1810, July.
    18. Florence Depoers & Thomas Jeanjean & Tiphaine Jérôme, 2016. "Voluntary Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Contrasting the Carbon Disclosure Project and Corporate Reports," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 445-461, March.
    19. 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.
    20. Maretno Harjoto & Indrarini Laksmana & Robert Lee, 2015. "Board Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(4), pages 641-660, December.
    21. Peter M. Clarkson & Yue Li & Matthew Pinnuck & Gordon D. Richardson, 2015. "The Valuation Relevance of Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the European Union Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 551-580, September.
    22. Thomas E. Schneider, 2011. "Is Environmental Performance a Determinant of Bond Pricing? Evidence from the U.S. Pulp and Paper and Chemical Industries," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 28(5), pages 1537-1561, December.
    23. 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.
    24. MacKenzie, Donald, 2009. "Making things the same: Gases, emission rights and the politics of carbon markets," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 440-455, April.
    25. Suchard, Jo-Ann, 2007. "The impact of rights issues of convertible debt in Australian markets," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 187-202, July.
    26. Garry Twite, 2001. "Capital Structure Choices and Taxes: Evidence from the Australian Dividend Imputation Tax System," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 2(4), pages 217-234, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Zhifang Zhou & Tao Zhang & Kang Wen & Huixiang Zeng & Xiaohong Chen, 2018. "Carbon risk, cost of debt financing and the moderation effect of media attention: Evidence from Chinese companies operating in high‐carbon industries," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(8), pages 1131-1144, December.
    2. Evangeline O. Elijido-Ten & Peter Clarkson, 2019. "Going Beyond Climate Change Risk Management: Insights from the World’s Largest Most Sustainable Corporations," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 157(4), pages 1067-1089, July.
    3. Xingqiang Du & Jianying Weng & Quan Zeng & Yingying Chang & Hongmei Pei, 2017. "Do Lenders Applaud Corporate Environmental Performance? Evidence from Chinese Private-Owned Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 179-207, June.
    4. Tesfaye T. Lemma & Martin Feedman & Mthokozisi Mlilo & Jin Dong Park, 2019. "Corporate carbon risk, voluntary disclosure, and cost of capital: South African evidence," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 111-126, January.
    5. Luo, Le & Tang, Qingliang, 2016. "Determinants of the Quality of Corporate Carbon Management Systems: An International Study," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 275-305.
    6. Fonseka, Mohan & Rajapakse, Theja & Richardson, Grant, 2019. "The effect of environmental information disclosure and energy product type on the cost of debt: Evidence from energy firms in China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 159-182.
    7. Omaima A.G. Hassan & Peter Romilly, 2018. "Relations between corporate economic performance, environmental disclosure and greenhouse gas emissions: New insights," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 893-909, November.
    8. Tesfaye T. Lemma & Mehrzad Azmi Shabestari & Martin Freedman & Mthokozisi Mlilo, 2020. "Corporate carbon risk exposure, voluntary disclosure, and financial reporting quality," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 2130-2143, July.
    9. Perera, Luckmika & Jubb, Christine & Gopalan, Sandeep, 2019. "A comparison of voluntary and mandated climate change-related disclosure," Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 243-266.
    10. Mark Wallis, 2021. "The effects of relaxing Australia’s statutory dividend restrictions," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 3685-3733, June.
    11. Vera Palea & Federico Drogo, 2020. "Carbon emissions and the cost of debt in the eurozone: The role of public policies, climate‐related disclosure and corporate governance," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(8), pages 2953-2972, December.
    12. Bikki Jaggi & Alessandra Allini & Riccardo Macchioni & Annamaria Zampella, 2018. "Do investors find carbon information useful? Evidence from Italian firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1031-1056, May.
    13. Francesco Gangi & Antonio Meles & Eugenio D'Angelo & Lucia Michela Daniele, 2019. "Sustainable development and corporate governance in the financial system: Are environmentally friendly banks less risky?," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 26(3), pages 529-547, May.
    14. 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.
    15. Kathleen Herbohn & Ru Gao & Peter Clarkson, 2019. "Evidence on Whether Banks Consider Carbon Risk in Their Lending Decisions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 155-175, August.
    16. Xingqiang Du & Wei Jian & Quan Zeng & Yingying Chang, 2018. "Do Auditors Applaud Corporate Environmental Performance? Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 151(4), pages 1049-1080, September.
    17. Husam Aldamen & Keith Duncan, 2013. "Pricing of innate and discretionary accruals in Australian debt," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(1), pages 31-53, March.
    18. Karen Leigh Benson & Tom Smith, 2016. "Reply to ‘So, who really is a “noted author†within the accounting literature? A reflection on Benson et al. (2015)’," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 41(4), pages 656-659, November.
    19. Joseph A. Johnson & Jochen Theis & Adam Vitalis & Donald Young, 2020. "The Influence of Firms' Emissions Management Strategy Disclosures on Investors' Valuation Judgments†," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(2), pages 642-664, June.
    20. Le Luo & Qingliang Tang, 2021. "Corporate governance and carbon performance: role of carbon strategy and awareness of climate risk," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 2891-2934, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost of debt; Carbon emissions; CDP; Cost of debt; Carbon awareness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:150:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3207-6. 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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

    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 (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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.