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Open AccessArticle

Sustainability Matter and Financial Performance of Companies

by Carlos Lassala 1,†, Andreea Apetrei 2,† and Juan Sapena 2,*,†
1
Department of Corporate Finance, Faculty of Economics, University of Valencia, Avda de los Naranjos, s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Catholic University of Valencia, Marquis of Campo Building, 34 Corona St, E-46003 Valencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9091498
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 20 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Sustainability: New Innovative Knowledge)
The relationship between social and environmental performance and financial performance in companies has been a subject widely debated in the literature but the results obtained to date are not conclusive. This research employs the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) and offers new evidence on the relationship between both types of performance in a sample of companies listed in the Spanish capital market. Financial performance is measured by the return on equity (ROE) ratio, variable that is widely used in Finance and Accounting related research. The corporate performance of the company is measured by its inclusion or not in the sustainability index used as reference for the Spanish capital market, the FTSEGood4 IBEX. The model also incorporates other business variables that might affect the relationships between both types of performance, such as return on assets (ROA) ratio, company size, debt ratio, and industry. The results suggest that, for specific industries, return on assets is a necessary condition for companies with leverage to reduce the cost of debt due to their sustainability profile and consequently boost their ROE. View Full-Text
Keywords: fsQCA; financial performance; sustainability; social and environmental performance; FTSE4Good IBEX fsQCA; financial performance; sustainability; social and environmental performance; FTSE4Good IBEX
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Lassala, C.; Apetrei, A.; Sapena, J. Sustainability Matter and Financial Performance of Companies. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1498.

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