Reliable Sustainability Ratings: The Influence of Business Models on Information Intermediaries

Chapter in Routledge Handbook on Responsible Investing (Forthcoming)

28 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012 Last revised: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by Robert G. Eccles

Robert G. Eccles

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Jock Herron

Harvard University - School of Design

George Serafeim

Harvard University - Harvard Business School

Date Written: August 19, 2012

Abstract

A new generation of corporate reporting - integrated reporting - is emerging that will help investors and other key stakeholders such as employees, customers, suppliers, and NGOs develop a deeper and more comprehensive appreciation of corporate performance than what is currently provided by GAAP financial reporting. The purpose of this paper is to examine the optimal design of information intermediaries that can increase the impact of sustainability information on corporate conduct. Specifically, we focus on two issues: who pays for the information and which performance metrics should be included in assessing the sustainability performance of a company.

Keywords: sustainability, ratings, corporate performance, rating agencies, conflicts of interest, integrated reporting, corporate social responsibility

JEL Classification: A13, I31, J24, J28, M00, M1, M14, M41, D82, D83, D84

Suggested Citation

Eccles, Robert G. and Herron, Jock and Serafeim, George, Reliable Sustainability Ratings: The Influence of Business Models on Information Intermediaries (August 19, 2012). Chapter in Routledge Handbook on Responsible Investing (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132144

Robert G. Eccles

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Jock Herron

Harvard University - School of Design ( email )

Cambridge, 02138
United States

George Serafeim (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Business School ( email )

381 Morgan Hall
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://goo.gl/q4cJ5A

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