Much Ado About Nothing? Sustainability Disclosure in the Banking Industry
Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts-und Unternehmensethik (Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics), Vol. 16, No. 3, p. 369-393, 2015
1 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2015 Last revised: 2 May 2016
Date Written: December 8, 2015
This paper examines the sustainability disclosure in the banking industry with respect to potential greenwashing. We build a theoretical framework to assess the sustainability disclosure along materiality criteria in the banking industry and apply this framework to the corporate sustainability reporting of two global systemically important banks. The results of our case study point toward the existence of greenwashing mainly in the most material area of the sustainability disclosure of our sample banks, but also highlight the shortcomings of existing disclosure guidelines to adequately account for material sector-specific sustainability issues.
Keywords: greenwashing, corporate sustainability disclosure, banking industry, materiality
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