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Much Ado About Nothing? Sustainability Disclosure in the Banking Industry

Katrin Hummel and Diana Festl-Pell

Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik - Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics, 2015, vol. 16, issue 3, 369-393

Abstract: This paper examines the sustainability disclosure in the banking industry with respect to potential greenwashing. We build a theoretical framework to assess the sustainability disclosure along materiality criteria in the banking industry and apply this framework to the corporate sustainability reporting of two global systemically important banks. The results of our case study point toward the existence of greenwashing, mainly in the most material areas of the sustainability disclosure of our sample banks, but also highlight the shortcomings of existing disclosure guidelines to adequately account for material sector-specific sustainability issues.

Keywords: Greenwashing; Corporate Sustainability Disclosure; Banking Industry; Materiality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 A14 M14 Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Unternehmensethik - Journal for Business, Economics & Ethics is currently edited by Prof. Dr. Thomas Beschorner (St.Gallen, Schweiz), Dr. Markus Breuer (Berlin), Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Brink (Bayreuth und Witten/Herdecke), Dr. Bettina Hollstein (Erfurt), Dr. Marc C. Huebscher (Hamburg) and Dr. Olaf J. Schumann (Frankfurt a.M.)

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