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Evidence for Novel Structures Relating CSR Reporting and Economic Welfare: Environmental Sustainability—A Continent-Level Analysis

Abstract

This paper aims to work towards a factual framework to substantiate the linkage between corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting and economic activity and between CSR reporting and CO2 pollution, continent-wide. The document summarizes the conclusions of the dynamic analysis of CSR reports and the correlation analysis between CSR reports and economic—environmental variables, always using evidence from continent-level data. We draw on growth—environmental data and CSR reports from 1999 to 2017 to perform an analysis that quantifies the direction, the strength and the nature of the dependence structure between the two variables. Continents’ position according to their CSR reporting performance, CSR report trends over time, comparative schemes among continents, compose a global view on continents’ differentiation on CSR practices and strategies. Overall, the paper contributes to the understanding of how the CSR policies have been integrated and evolved worldwide.

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Availability of data and materials

Data come from World Bank database (World Bank 2020a-f) and are publicly available.

Code availability

Software application and custom code in R. Custom code is available upon request.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Publicly accessible at: https://database.globalreporting.org/.

  2. 2.

    Hoeffding’s D estimates, computer output and R codes are available in the “Appendix”.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to the Editor Professor Hans Amman and to three anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments. Any errors are solely the authors’ responsibility.

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Authors

Contributions

GH; conceptualization and interpretation of the results in the environmental and economics context. SN; data curation and interpretation of the results in concerns regarding environmental responsibility. KT; analytic techniques, data importation, computing and programming in R. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to George Halkos.

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Appendix: Hoeffding’s D Calculations

Appendix: Hoeffding’s D Calculations

Hoeffding’s D calculations for growth variables (gross national income growth (annual %), gross national income, exports of goods and services growth (annual % growth), exports of goods and services volumes correspond to GNIG, GNI$, EXPORTGR, EXPORT$ variables respectively).

Africa

figurea

Asia

figureb

Europe

figurec

Latin America and the Caribbean

figured

Northern America

figuree

Oceania

figuref

Hoeffding’s D calculations for environmental variables (CO2 emissions (measured in kt) correspond to CO2EMS variable and CO2 intensity (in kg per kg of oil equivalent energy use) corresponds to CO2INTENS variable) in Africa.

figureg

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Halkos, G., Nomikos, S. & Tsilika, K. Evidence for Novel Structures Relating CSR Reporting and Economic Welfare: Environmental Sustainability—A Continent-Level Analysis. Comput Econ (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10614-020-10091-5

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Keywords

  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Correlation measures
  • Trends
  • Continent levels