Top Enviro-Stewards More Likely to Disclose Green Performance

Top Enviro-Stewards More Likely to Disclose Green Performance

The companies that do the most to soften their environmental footprint are probably not shy about telling you about it.

A new study examines the correlation between best environmental performance and disclosure. They examined 2003 environmental and social responsibility reports from 191 companies from the five dirtiest U.S. industries, in terms of pollution.

Environmental stewards, for aspects such as toxic emissions and toxic waste treatment, scored well for disclosure. Poor stewards scored low for disclosure.

Disclosing information doesn't make a company green if the information is soft or hard-to-verify, also known as greenwashing.

The researchers said the findings should be of particular interest for investors because of the increasing role environmental regulations are expected to play throughout the world.

"If government limits become much more stringent -- which they surely will -- it's the poorer compliers who will have the highest price tag to get their emissions in line," said Prof. Richardson, a co-author and professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Co-authors include Yue Li, a Rotman professor; Florin Vasvari, of London Business School; and Peter Clarkson, of the University of Queenland Business School in Australia.

The full report can be found here.