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A Company’s First-rate Green Image Often Does Not Match Its Green Performance

January 25, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A company’s reputation for being environmentally friendly may more to do with what it says it’s doing than what it is actually doing, a Kansas State University study has found. The more information companies disclose about their sustainable practice, the more they are viewed as being green, even if their actual environmental performance is not that strong. For their study, researchers looked at annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports and 10-K financial reports of companies listed in Newsweek magazine's 2009 green rankings of large U.S. companies. The companies with the worst environmental performance had the best environmental reputation, including companies from environmentally sensitive industries like utilities, oil and gas.
Amy Hageman, "When It Comes to Greening a Corporate Reputation, Study Shows That Words May Speak Louder Than Actions", News release, upcoming article in Accounting, Organizations and Society, January 25, 2012, © Kansas State University
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