Carbon performance and disclosure: A systematic review of governance-related determinants and financial consequences

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The purpose of this paper is to convey a thorough understanding of the governance-related determinants and financial consequences of carbon performance and disclosure. Its motivation lies in the increasing global political, social, academic as well as practical importance of managing and reporting on carbon-related issues. Methodologically, we employ a systematic literature review. Thus, we identify 73 quantitative peer-reviewed empirical studies in this field and categorize them according to a legitimacy-theory-based framework. Our four main contributions offer new insights into this emerging research field and provide guidance for the development of new research models: First, we help future researchers to structure this emerging field of research with respect to the interactions of the phenomenon itself (carbon performance vs. disclosure), its determinants (country- and firm-related governance), and its financial consequences (value relevance, information asymmetry, financial performance, and cost of capital). Second, we provide a comprehensive overview of variables and proxies used in the studies and list their main statistical effects, which facilitates building novel models. There are indications that 1) board composition positively influences both carbon performance and disclosure, 2) carbon performance and carbon disclosure are positively connected, 3) carbon disclosure reduces information asymmetry, and 4) carbon performance increases financial performance. Third, we develop a research agenda with concise suggestions for future studies. Fourth, we argue that due to the under-theorization of concepts the comparability of included studies is challenging, this research field may be characterized as a vibrant field for extensive future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120063
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2020