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

See all articles by Katrin Hummel

Katrin Hummel

University of Zurich

Diana Festl-Pell

University of Zurich

Date Written: December 8, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hummel, Katrin and Festl-Pell, Diana, Much Ado About Nothing? Sustainability Disclosure in the Banking Industry (December 8, 2015). Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts-und Unternehmensethik (Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics), Vol. 16, No. 3, p. 369-393, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2657402

Katrin Hummel (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zurich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Diana Festl-Pell

University of Zurich

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, CH-8032
Switzerland

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