The global interest in climate change makes carbon information important for decision-making. This study examines to what extent companies voluntarily disclose and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) information and whether board diversity and industry type explain variations in the level of disclosure and management of GHG information.
Cross-sectional data analysis is used for the Financial Stock Exchange 350 (UK FTSE 350) in 2017. Disclosure of GHG information is measured using the scores of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), whereas board diversity is measured using gender diversity, board tenure and board skills. The control variables include firm size, leverage, industry type, board meetings, board size, board independence and CEO duality. Ordinal logistic regression (OLR) is used for data analysis.
The results indicate that representation of female directors in the board of directors positively influences disclosure and management of GHG information. Conversely, a high percentage of directors with a financial and industrial background negatively affects GHG information, while board tenure has no significant effect on GHG information. Concerning the control variables, only firm size and industry type are significant in their relationships to GHG information.
The main limitation of the study is investigating only few variables of board diversity. Future studies could investigate other variables such as cultural diversity and age diversity. Furthermore, cross-sectional data analysis cannot capture the dynamic casual impact between the determinants of disclosure and management of GHG information. Future studies could use long-term data, which may yield results that are more significant.
The study emphasizes the importance of the role of female directors in ensuring more transparency toward climate change activities. The findings of this study could be of interest to policymakers and stakeholders and could be used to take initiatives to reduce gender bias and increase the percentage of women in the boardroom. It is also likely to be beneficial for investors and stakeholders to evaluate carbon footprint of businesses and to assess the extent to which they meet their environmental responsibility.
Al-Qahtani, M. and Elgharbawy, A. (2020), "The effect of board diversity on disclosure and management of greenhouse gas information: evidence from the United Kingdom", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-08-2019-0247Download as .RIS
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