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The dark side of digital finance: evidence from environmental information disclosure of Chinese listed companies

Chong Guo (School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, China)
Yalin Jiang (School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, China and School of Social Audit, Nanjing Audit University, Nanjing, China)
Yingyu Wu (School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, Nanjing, China)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 28 March 2023

Issue publication date: 5 April 2023

485

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the relationship between corporate environmental information disclosure and digital finance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used Chinese listed enterprises as the sample. Data on digital finance are from the China Digital Inclusive Finance Index published by the Institute of Digital Finance of Peking University, and corporate environmental information disclosure is collected from the China Securities Market and Accounting Research database. Multivariate regression and Stata software were used for data analysis.

Findings

The findings suggest that digital finance significantly inhibits firms’ environmental information disclosure. Digital finance increases firms’ motivation to meet low-income customers’ demands, which is achieved at the expense of environmental performance, leading to deteriorated environmental information disclosure. Furthermore, this inhibitory effect is exacerbated by managerial power but mitigated by institutional shareholdings and political connections.

Practical implications

The findings have important implications for policymakers and managers when formulating relevant policies regarding the co-development of digital finance and corporate environmental information disclosure.

Social implications

Environmental information disclosure is a crucial element in CSR disclosure quality.

Originality/value

This study enriches the literature on the environmental influences of digital finance by examining the relationship between digital finance and corporate environmental information disclosure, a crucial way through which external stakeholders obtain information about corporate environmental behaviours.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors express gratitude to all those who helped us during the writing of the article and acknowledge the advice of the anonymous reviewers to improve the quality of this study.

Disclosure statement. No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Citation

Guo, C., Jiang, Y. and Wu, Y. (2023), "The dark side of digital finance: evidence from environmental information disclosure of Chinese listed companies", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 313-342. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-05-2022-0263

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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