Research study on corporate environmental accounting and management in Greece

PhD Thesis
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The increased pressure to firms from different stakeholders to undertake corporate actions in order to reduce their environmental footprint, turned corporate culture and strategy toward the pursuit of sustainable development. In this context it is examined, for the first time using Greek accounting data, the recognition of the characteristics that effect the provision of environmental information, the linkage between environmental performance and technical inefficiency as well as the existence of a virtuous circle between environmental and financial performance. Initially, content analysis was used for the examination of the level and the determinants of the disclosure of information relative to corporate environmental actions through their financial statements. Then based on the approach of the stochastic frontier proposed by Battese and Coelli (1991) the connection between the level of environmental performance and technical inefficiency was investigated. The last empirical chapter deals with the existence of a "virtuous circle" between environmental and financial performance based on the generalized method of moments as proposed by Arellano and Bond (1991).The empirical results revealed the low perception of Greek firms of the importance of environmental disclosure. Furthermore, the decision to provide relevant data is related to the need to reduce information asymmetry, the risk of disclosure of sensitive corporate data, the media visibility, the existence of large corporate basis and the use of old equipment. In addition, the importance of the introduction of environmental management as part of corporate governance as well as the existence of a specific corporate environmental policy is rewarded by reduced technical inefficiency. The findings of the examination of the dynamic relationship between environmental and financial performance, did not confirm the existence of a "virtuous circle" as cost of environmental performance improving investments exceed benefits.