Carbon Disclosure, Performance and the Green Reputation of Higher Educational Institutions in the UK

Anup Kumar Saha (Lead / Corresponding author), Theresa Dunne, Rob Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the carbon emission disclosures (CED) and performance of UK Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) and the associated impact on their environmental reputation. The paper argues that HEIs possess distinct characteristics that make comparisons with profit-oriented companies problematic and misleading.

Design/methodology/approach: The green score published by the People & Planet organisation provided the population for this analysis. All universities with a score were entered into the initial sample. The association between green reputation, CED and carbon performance was examined using a robust least squared regression model.

Findings: CED, carbon emissions and carbon audit were found to have highly significant determinant relationships with HEIs’ green reputation status at a 1% significance level while the presence of standalone sustainability reporting was found to have a very weak significance in determining an HEI’s environmental reputation.

Research limitations/implications: The study investigated the impact of CED and other indicators of carbon performance by HEIs on their green reputation. The impact of CED and other carbon performance measures needs to have a clear relationship with reputation in order to motivate HEIs to act and disclose.

Originality/value: The study is distinct in investigating the impact of CED and carbon performance by UK HEIs on their environmental reputation. The study shows whether, and how, the HEI CED and carbon performances contribute towards the environmental reputation of these institutions. HEIs have distinct characteristics from profit-seeking organisations and thus tailored research is required.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Accounting & Organizational Change
Early online date16 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Carbon emissions disclosure
  • Environmental reputation
  • Green ranking
  • Higher education institutions
  • Signalling theory

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