Credible disclosure or mere puffery? Empirical evidence on the voluntary use of sustainability disclosure standards

49 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2022 Last revised: 30 Aug 2023

See all articles by Khrystyna Bochkay

Khrystyna Bochkay

University of Miami Herbert Business School

Seungju Choi

University of Miami Herbert Business School

Jeffrey Hales

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Accounting

Date Written: July 20, 2022

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the factors and outcomes linked to companies’ voluntary adoption of sustainability disclosure standards developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). We find that peer behavior, sustainability-focused institutional ownership, company size and performance are among the main determinants of reporting following SASB standards. Moreover, we find that the standards adoption is a highly persistent disclosure choice. In terms of outcomes, companies’ adoption of SASB standards is associated with significant improvements in various sustainability outcomes including fewer sustainability- related violations, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and lower pollution levels. Collectively, these results inform our understanding of voluntary standards-based sustainability reporting and associated performance effects of such disclosure commitment.

Keywords: sustainability reporting standards; Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB); environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues; voluntary disclosure

Suggested Citation

Bochkay, Khrystyna and Choi, Seungju and Hales, Jeffrey, Credible disclosure or mere puffery? Empirical evidence on the voluntary use of sustainability disclosure standards (July 20, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4167391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4167391

Khrystyna Bochkay (Contact Author)

University of Miami Herbert Business School ( email )

5250 University Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146-6531
United States

Seungju Choi

University of Miami Herbert Business School ( email )

P.O. Box 248126
Florida
Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Jeffrey Hales

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Accounting ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-471-2163 (Phone)
512-471-3907 (Fax)

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