Coming Clean: The Impact of Environmental Performance and Visibility on Corporate Climate Change Disclosure

Dawkins, Cedric; Fraas, John
May 2011
Journal of Business Ethics;May2011, Vol. 100 Issue 2, p303
Academic Journal
Previous research provides mixed results on the relationship between corporate environmental performance and the level of voluntary environmental disclosure. We revisit this relation by testing competing predictions from defensive and accommodative approaches to voluntary disclosure with regard to climate change. In particular, we add to the prior literature by determining the extent to which environmental performance and company media visibility interact to prompt voluntary climate change disclosure. Using ordinal regression and Ceres, KLD, and Trucost ratings of S&P 500 companies, we find a positive relationship between environmental performance and voluntary climate change disclosure. We extend the literature on environmental strategies and disclosure by establishing that company visibility and issue (climate change) visibility interact with environmental performance to influence the level of voluntary climate change disclosure.


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