Sus­tain­ab­il­ity and CSR dis­clos­ure

  • CSR reporting under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive: Evidence from German savings banks (joint work with Maryna Gulenko and Saksia Kohlhase): The study investigates variation in mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting using a large sample of non-publicly listed savings banks in Germany. We identify demand for CSR information by banks’ main stakeholder groups (municipal trustees, private and corporate clients) and focus our analysis on double materiality approach to CSR reporting. We find that demand for CSR information by supervisory board chairperson belonging to a left-wing or green party and more supervisory board members belonging to a left-wing or green party are associated with longer CSR reports as well as more disclosure on environmental, social, employee and human rights matters. In addition, competition for private clients and sustainability orientation of corporate clients are associated with longer reports as well as more disclosure on environmental, employee and human rights matters. These findings suggest that savings banks’ CSR reports cater to the demand for CSR information by their principal stakeholders.                                                                                                                                                      
  • Are financial losses hindering engagement in corporate social responsibility? (joint work with Saskia Kohlhase): This study investigates how loss firms respond to mandatory disclosure of corporate social responsibility (CSR) information introduced by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). Prior empirical studies have documented that CSR is positively related to firms’ financial performance. We empirically investigate to what extent the benefits of CSR activity exceed the costs of it, and analyse loss firms’ incentives to increase their CSR activities.                                                                                                                                     

  • Green bonds in the European bond market (joint work with Benedikt Franke and Pia Stoczek): Among sustainable financing solutions, green bonds serve as an important channel to fund environmentally friendly projects. A major question is why firms issue green bonds and which role transparency and certification requirements play. This study investigates the role of firm transparency, in interaction with other sustainability regulation, on potential premium from green bonds. Issuance of green bonds is deemed as firms’ commitment to future sustainability efforts. Transparency requirements play a major role in whether such commitments are credible or not, which potentially affects political decisions.