The sustainability committee and environmental disclosure: International evidence

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.