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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 445–461 | Cite as

Voluntary Disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Contrasting the Carbon Disclosure Project and Corporate Reports

  • Florence Depoers
  • Thomas Jeanjean
  • Tiphaine Jérôme
Article

Abstract

As global warming continues to attract growing levels of attention, various stakeholders (states, general public, investors, and lobbyists) have put climate change on corporate agendas and expect firms to disclose relevant greenhouse gas (GHG) information. In this paper, we investigate the consistency of the GHG information voluntarily disclosed by French listed firms through two different communication channels: corporate reports (CR) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). More precisely, we contrast the amounts of GHG emissions reported and the methodological explanations provided (named ‘traceability’) in each channel. Consistent with a stakeholder theory perspective, we find that GHG amounts are significantly lower in the CR than in the CDP. We also find that firms increase the CR figures’ traceability when there is a discrepancy between disclosures in the two channels. We suggest that the aim of this greater traceability is to enhance information credibility across the different channels used.

Keywords

Communication channels GHG emissions Stakeholder theory Traceability Voluntary disclosure 

Abbreviations

CDP

Carbon Disclosure Project

CDSB

Carbon Disclosure Standards Board

CR

Corporate reports

CSR

Corporate social responsibility

GHG

Greenhouse gas

GRI

Global Reporting Initiative

MD&A

Management Discussion and Analysis

OLS

Ordinary least squares

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florence Depoers
    • 1
  • Thomas Jeanjean
    • 2
  • Tiphaine Jérôme
    • 3
  1. 1.Université Paris Sud, RITMSceaux CedexFrance
  2. 2.ESSEC Business SchoolCergy Pontoise CedexFrance
  3. 3.HEC ParisJouy-en-JosasFrance

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