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From Board Composition to Corporate Environmental Performance Through Sustainability-Themed Alliances

Abstract

A growing body of work suggests that the presence of women and of independent directors on boards of directors is associated with higher corporate environmental performance. However, the mechanisms linking board composition to corporate environmental performance are not well understood. This study proposes and empirically tests the mediating role of sustainability-themed alliances in the relationship between board composition and corporate environmental performance. Using the population of public oil and gas firms in the United States as the sample, the study relies on renewable energy alliances to measure sustainability-themed alliances and longitudinally analyzes lagged data for independent and control variables. The study found that (1) the higher the representation of women on a firm’s board, the more likely the firm is to form sustainability-themed alliances, and (2) the higher the representation of independent directors on a firm’s board, the more likely the firm is to form sustainability-themed alliances. Such alliances, in turn, positively contribute to corporate environmental performance. This paper discusses the study’s contributions to the board composition-social performance literature.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    We are indebted to one of our anonymous reviewers for this suggestion.

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Appendix 1

Appendix 1

The sample of oil and gas companies for this study (in alphabetic order)

Anadarka Petroleum
Apache
Baker Hughes
BJ Services Company
Cameron International
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Chevron
ConocoPhillips
Continental Resources
Denbury
Devon Energy
El Paso
Ensco International
EOG resources
ExxonMobil
FMC Technologies
Halliburton
Helmerich & Payne
Hess
Marathon Oil
Murphy Oil Corporation
National Oilwell Varco
Noble Energy
Occidental Petroleum
Petrohawk Energy
Pride International
Range Resources
Smith International
Southwestern Energy Company
Spectra Energy
Sunoco
Tesoro
Ultra Petroleum Corporation
Valero Energy
Western Refining
XTO Energy (formerly Cross Timbers Oil Company)

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Post, C., Rahman, N. & McQuillen, C. From Board Composition to Corporate Environmental Performance Through Sustainability-Themed Alliances. J Bus Ethics 130, 423–435 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2231-7

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Keywords

  • Board composition
  • Gender
  • Diversity
  • Board independence
  • Environmental corporate social responsibility
  • Social performance
  • Alliances