Landi, G. C., Iandolo, F., Renzi, A., & Rey, A. (2022). “Embedding sustainability in risk management: The impact of environmental, social, and governance ratings on corporate financial risk.” Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 1– 12. https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2256
Abstract: This study investigates the effect of corporate social and environmental evaluation on investors’ risk perception to explore the potential market risk for public companies that adopt a sustainable and responsible corporate strategy. We referred to the triple corporate assessment according to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to check whether ESG factors—meant to direct firms toward social and environmental needs—improve corporate market performance or trigger, among investors, a perception of “window dressing.” In doing so, we tested the impact of corporate social performance—proxied by an ESG assessment—on corporate financial risk using double risk measurement. We conducted a five-year longitudinal study (fiscal years 2014–2018) of 222 companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s index. The empirical findings show higher investor uncertainty regarding corporate sustainability performance, probably due to the misalignment of objectives between investors and investees. Indeed, an overall ESG assessment corresponds to higher systematic risk for firms, and a corporate environmental rating has an upward effect on the same risk dimension.