CSR Committees and Their Effect on ESG Performance in UK, France, Germany, and Spain
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ABSTRACT: The multidisciplinary nature of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee reflects the commitment as well as the expectations and demands of diverse stakeholders. So far, CSR committees have been mainly considered as variables of control in larger corporate governance models and independent variables that determine CSR or environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure and its reporting quality. However, the effect on corporate performance has been biased to financial performance, so the potential of the analysis of the effect it may have on different facets of non financial performance has not been exploited. Which it should, since it can be a fundamental tool to achieve sustainability. The objective of this contribution is to test whether companies with a CSR committee not only leads to higher economic scores, but also to higher ESG (environmental, social, governance) scores. To do this, we used regression panel data models in 197 listed firms in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK during the period 2005?2015 including the perspective of European organizations and completing the extant studies in US-based samples. Our results showed that 90% of companies in the sample had a CSR committee in 2014, and that those companies had significantly different ESG scores than those without a CSR committee. Having a CSR committee also triggered better non-financial performance when considering the four scores and the four countries independently (except for the economic scores in Spain). These results have great implications for practitioners, reflecting the importance of promoting these tools in an organization to enhance non-financial performance and sustainability.
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