We examine how board gender diversity is associated with biodiversity disclosures of a firm, and whether the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the EU biodiversity strategy reinforce this relationship. Using institutional theory and resource dependency theory, our sample comprises 4,013 firm-year observations from European corporations covering data from 2002 to 2016. We use panel regressions with country, time and industry dummy variables to analyse the disclosure of biodiversity initiatives (DBI) and logit regressions to explain biodiversity impact assessment (BIA). We find that board gender diversity is positively associated with the DBI and BIA of a firm, and that the GRI framework and the EU biodiversity strategy positively moderate this relationship. Moreover, the GRI framework and the EU strategic plan show positive relationship with the DBI, rather than BIA. Altogether, our evidence suggests that corporate boards with a higher proportion of female directors are more sensitive to the concerns of institutional pressures and respond to those concerns by increasing corporate biodiversity disclosures. Overall, we find that firms tend to comply with the GRI framework and the EU 2020 strategy by undertaking symbolic biodiversity disclosures, rather than providing a comprehensive disclosure of their impacts on biodiversity.
- AF Accountability Sustainability and Governance
- Biodiversity accounting
- Board gender diversity
- Corporate biodiversity initiatives
- EU biodiversity strategy