Legitimacy or good governance: What drives carbon performance in Australia
Corporate Ownership and Control
Governance and Sustainability, School of Commerce, University of South Australia, SA5001, South Africa
Previous studies present diverse views on carbon performance. The legitimacy perspective posits that external forces from a wide range of stakeholders drives environmental performance change, while the governance perspective posits that strong internal governance structure leads to performance improvement. This study empirically examines the validity of these different perspectives. Using data released by top polluting companies included in the Australian National Greenhouse and Energy Reports (NGER), the study finds that better governance structures are significantly associated with higher carbon performance, but there is no significant relationship between external carbon disclosure and carbon performance. The results suggest that future policy needs to focus more on ensuring strong corporate governance system and encouraging the integration of environmental aspects into governance agenda.