Gender Diversity, Board Independence, Environmental Committee and Greenhouse Gas Disclosure

16 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020 Last revised: 7 Sep 2021

See all articles by Lin Liao

Lin Liao

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics; Southwestern University of Finance & Econ China

Le Luo

University of Newcastle (Australia)

Qingliang Tang

Western Sydney University - School of Business

Date Written: August 18, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Liao, Lin and Liao, Lin and Luo, Le and Tang, Qingliang, Gender Diversity, Board Independence, Environmental Committee and Greenhouse Gas Disclosure (August 18, 2020). Lin Liao, Le Luo, and Qingliang Tang, 2015, Gender diversity, board independence, environmental committee and greenhouse gas disclosure, British Accounting Review, Vol. 47, No. 4:409-424, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3675994

Lin Liao (Contact Author)

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics ( email )

55 Guanghuacun Street
Chengdu, Sichuan 610074
China

Southwestern University of Finance & Econ China ( email )

55 Guanghuacun St,
Chengdu, Sichuan 610074
China
02887352040 (Phone)

Le Luo

University of Newcastle (Australia) ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia

Qingliang Tang

Western Sydney University - School of Business ( email )

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751
Australia

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