Greenhouse Gas Disclosure and Emissions Benchmarking

61 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019 Last revised: 4 Jan 2023

See all articles by Sorabh Tomar

Sorabh Tomar

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Accounting Department

Date Written: January 1, 2023


I examine the effects of the US Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program, which requires thousands of industrial facilities to measure and report their GHG emissions. I show that facilities reduce their GHG emissions by 7.9% following the disclosure of emissions data. The evidence indicates that benchmarking—whereby facilities use the disclosures of their peers to assess their own relative GHG performance—spurs emissions reductions. Firms' concerns about future legislation appear to motivate this behavior and measurement alone (without disclosure) seems not to reduce emissions. My study highlights how mandatory GHG disclosure can create real effects for peers.

Keywords: Disclosure; ESG; Climate Change; Benchmarking; Peer Effects; Real Effects; Political Pressure

JEL Classification: D72, M40, Q54, Q56

Suggested Citation

Tomar, Sorabh, Greenhouse Gas Disclosure and Emissions Benchmarking (January 1, 2023). SMU Cox School of Business Research Paper No. 19-17, European Corporate Governance Institute – Finance Working Paper No. 818/2022, Available at SSRN: or

Sorabh Tomar (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Accounting Department ( email )

United States

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