Hani Tadros studies the perceived versus real environmental impact of major firms

Tadros co-authored research examining how the interaction between environmental performance and economic and legitimacy factors influence firms’ environmental disclosures. 

By: Erin Manchuso '19

Hani Tadros, assistant professor of accounting in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, co-authored the paper “How does environmental performance map into environmental disclosure," which was published in the February issue of the Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal.

The paper examines and dissects information disclosed by firms regarding their environmental impact versus the realities of their environmental performance.

The paper’s abstract reads:

“Purpose – Focusing on a sample of firms from environmentally sensitive industries over several years, this study aims to reexamine the association between environmental disclosure and environmental performance.

“Design/methodology/approach – The authors use a panel data analysis to examine how the interaction between environmental performance and economic and legitimacy factors influence firms’ environmental disclosures.

“Findings – Results suggest that environmental performance moderates the effect of economic and legitimacy incentives on firms’ propensity to provide proprietary environmental disclosure, with both sets of incentives being influential. More specifically, there appears to be a reporting bias based on the firm’s environmental performance whereas the high-performers disclose more environmental information in the three following vehicles: annual report, 10-K and sustainability reports combined. Results also show that economic and legitimacy factors influence the disclosure decisions of the low and high environmental performers differently.

“Practical implications – Understanding the determinants of environmental disclosure for high and low environmental performers helps regulators to close the reporting gap between these firms.

“Social implications – There is little evidence to suggest that firms with low-environmental performance attempt to use their disclosures to legitimize their environmental operations.

“Originality/value – The study examines environmental disclosures of 78 firms over a period of 14 years in annual, 10-K and sustainability reports. The panel data analysis controls for significant cross-sectional and period effects.”

Tadros joined Elon in fall 2015. He previously taught at Fayetteville State University and Concordia University. His research interests include environmental and management accounting.

The Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal publishes research from a range of disciplinary approaches to improving social and environmental sustainability and the social and environmental consequences of climate change and other issues.