Sustainable Finance

Der Schwerpunkt der Forschungsgruppe Sustainable Finance besteht in der Integration von ESG-Themen in die Unternehmensführung. Dies umfasst die Messung der ESG-Leistung sowie die Berücksichtigung von ESG-spezifischen Kennzahlen im Rahmen der Finanzberichterstattung.

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Ausgewählte Publikationen

The sustainability committee and environmental disclosure: International evidence

Hamdi Driss, Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization | 05/2024 | Forthcoming
This paper contributes to the growing debate about the role of board-level sustainability committees, focusing on whether they leverage sustainability expertise for impactful environmental initiatives or purely serve as symbolic actions aimed at greenwashing. Using a large set of firms from 35 countries over the 2010–2017 period, we find that the presence of a sustainability committee is positively associated with higher-quality GHG emissions disclosure. This finding is robust to endogeneity and sample selection bias concerns. The sustainability committee effect is more pronounced when external environmental institutions are too weak to properly monitor corporate environmental disclosure. Our findings suggest that sustainability committees are not a symbolic management tool, but play a crucial role in enhancing corporate environmental disclosure.

Board ancestral diversity and voluntary greenhouse gas emission disclosure

Johannes Barg, Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Henning Schröder
British Journal of Management | 08/2023 | Forthcoming
This paper examines the relationship between board diversity and firms’ decisions to voluntarily disclose information about their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We focus on board ancestral diversity as a relatively new dimension of (deep-level) board structure and document that it has a positive and statistically significant effect on a firm’s scope and quality of voluntary GHG emission disclosure. The effect goes beyond the impact of more common (surface-level) dimensions of board diversity and remains robust after addressing endogeneity concerns. In line with the theoretical conjecture that diversity enhances a board’s advising and monitoring capacity, we find that the impact of diverse boards is stronger in more complex firms and in firms with low levels of institutional ownership. Overall, our findings provide evidence for board diversity being a relevant governance factor in corporate environmental decision making.

Institutional investors and corporate environmental costs: The roles of investment horizon and investor origin

Wolfgang Drobetz, Sadok El Ghoul, Zhengwei Fu, Omrane Guedhami
European Financial Management | 07/2023
Using a large international dataset that quantifies corporate environmental costs, we analyze the influence of institutional investor ownership, particularly investment horizon and investor origin, on the monetized environmental impact generated by their investee firms. Institutional investor ownership is negatively related to corporate environmental costs. This effect is driven by long-term foreign institutional investors, especially investors from advanced economies. Foreign institutional investors transfer higher norms and standards from their home countries to their investee firms abroad. Corporate environmental costs are negatively correlated with firm valuation and positively correlated with the firm’s cost of equity. To the extent that corporate environmental costs are not already reflected in conventional ESG ratings, our results shed new light on the role of institutional investors in shaping corporate environmental impact.

Corporate social responsibility disclosure: The case of international shipping

Wolfgang Drobetz, Anna Merika, Andreas Merikas, Mike G. Tsionas
Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review | 11/2014
Based on practices and legislation in the shipping industry, we construct a corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure index for listed shipping companies. We use Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques for Bayesian inference, and we estimate the marginal effects of firm characteristics on CSR disclosure for each firm. Our results show a positive relationship between CSR disclosure and financial performance for each firm in our international sample. Firm size, financial leverage, and ownership structure are also associated with CSR disclosure. Our findings suggest that a majority of listed shipping companies have integrated CSR practices into their strategic planning and operations.