Are native plants green? Assessing environmental performances of locally-owned facilities
42 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 20, 2021
We study the impact of corporate ownership and community conditions on firm environmental pollution. While the existing literature often thinks of environmental pollution as a unitary construct, we emphasize the distinction between toxic emissions, which have immediate but locally bounded impact, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which have gradual but global impact, producing climate change. Using a facility-level panel of all manufacturing facilities in the US from 2010-2018, and leveraging within-facility changes in ownership status, we show that locally owned firms have lower levels of toxic emissions, but they are also less likely to report GHG emissions, and have higher levels of such emissions when they do report them, with these effects being stronger where the owner is not only headquartered locally, but has operations limited to that state. Our study suggests that while the pressures of local embeddedness may drive firms to be more environmentally responsible towards their local community, they also make firms more indifferent to their global environmental impact.
Keywords: environmental performance, ownership, toxic emissions, greenhouse gas, climate change, sustainability
JEL Classification: M14, Q54, D22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation