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Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics Commons

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Corporate social responsibility

Illinois Wesleyan University

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The Impact Of Sustainability Reporting On Firm Profitability, Lancee L. Whetman Jan 2018

The Impact Of Sustainability Reporting On Firm Profitability, Lancee L. Whetman

Undergraduate Economic Review

Using a hand-collected representative sample of 95 publicly traded American firms from various sectors in 2015-2016, I examine how corporate sustainability reporting affects the financial performance of firms. I find a positive and significant effect of sustainability reporting on a firm’s return on equity, return on assets, and profit margin in the subsequent year. However, this relationship is found only for firms with low institutional ownership. These results suggest that sustainability reporting would be a worthwhile use of corporate resources for this subset of firms. Further, corporate sustainability reporting is shown to be an effective substitute for monitoring by ...