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Factors Influencing Corporate Environmental Protection Activities for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: The Relationship Between Environmental and Financial Performance

Takashi Hatakeda (), Katsuhiko Kokubu, Takehisa Kajiwara and Kimitaka Nishitani

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2012, vol. 53, issue 4, 455-481

Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between a firm’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its profitability in Japanese manufacturing. Defining the difference between the marginal revenue and cost of reducing GHG emissions as the “net benefit,” which is endogenously characterized by various factors, we estimate a switching regression model where the sign of the net benefit determines the relationship between GHG emissions and profitability. Our empirical analysis focuses on ISO 14001 adoption, market competition, uncertainty, financial flexibility, and share ownership structure as the factors, and indicates that firms with low firm-specific uncertainty, high financial flexibility, and a high proportion of large shareholders tend to have a nonnegative net benefit, so that the positive relationship between their GHG emissions and profitability is mitigated. On the other hand, although ISO 14001 adoption is generally considered to be an indicator of a firm’s stance on environmental proactiveness, it does not provide a sufficient incentive to reduce emissions. Factors such as uncertainty, financial flexibility, and share ownership structure are more important to GHG emission reductions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Keywords: GHG emissions; Profitability; ISO 14001 adoption; Market competition; Uncertainty; Financial flexibility; Share ownership structure; Switching regression model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9571-5

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