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Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1219; doi:10.3390/su8121219

The Link between Corporate Environmental and Corporate Financial Performance—Viewpoints from Practice and Research

Chair of Environmental Management and Accounting, Faculty of Business and Economics, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden 01062, Germany
Academic Editor: Yongrok Choi
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [227 KB, uploaded 25 November 2016]

Abstract

For more than 40 years, a tremendous number of studies have empirically explored the relationship between Corporate Environmental Performance (CEP) and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). This study considers the relationship from a new perspective—via a qualitative research approach based on expert interviews. First, practitioners are queried for their view on the link between CEP and CFP and how to measure it. Since the vast majority see a positive relationship, this study contributes with a new form of evidence that it pays to be green. The chosen qualitative approach also allows a more detailed analysis of underlying cause-and-effect mechanisms. For instance, interviewed practitioners emphasize a direct and indirect impact from CEP on CFP. Second, the study conducts interviews with experts from research and associations (non-practitioners) and compares the viewpoints of the two interview groups. One prevalent difference refers to the fact that non-practitioners do not focus on the two impact levels. Moreover, business experts perceive the link between CEP and CFP as much less complex and reveal more pragmatically oriented considerations. The study then discusses how the interview results and identified differences can be used to direct future research and to support corporations in their move towards sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: corporate environmental performance; corporate financial performance; expert interviews; practitioners; qualitative research; research-practice gap; resource efficiency corporate environmental performance; corporate financial performance; expert interviews; practitioners; qualitative research; research-practice gap; resource efficiency
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bergmann, A. The Link between Corporate Environmental and Corporate Financial Performance—Viewpoints from Practice and Research. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1219.

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