Gender Diversity, Board Independence, Environmental Committee and Greenhouse Gas Disclosure
16 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020 Last revised: 7 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 18, 2020
This paper examines the impact of corporate board's characteristics on the voluntary disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the form of a Carbon Disclosure Project report. Using both univariate and regression models with a sample of the 329 largest companies in the United Kingdom, we find a significant positive association between gender diversity (measured as the percentage of female directors on the board) and the propensity to disclose GHG information as well as the extensiveness of that disclosure. In addition, a board with more independent directors or environmental committee show a higher tendency to be ecologic transparent. However, if the committee is not sufficiently large, independent or active, its effect seems insignificant. The results are consistent with stakeholder theory, suggesting that a diversified and independent board and the existence of a board-level environmental committee may balance a firm's financial and non-financial goals with limited resources and moderate the possible conflicting expectations of stakeholders who have disparate interests. The findings should be useful for top managers and regulators who are interested in improving corporate governance practices and climate-change strategies.
Keywords: Female director, Independent director, Environmental committee, GHG disclosure
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