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Is Greenwashing Prevalent?


Manpreet Hora, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ravi Subramanian, Georgia Institute of Technology
Research Question Addressed

Do firms that make positive discretionary environmental disclosures in the press improve their overall environmental performance more than firms that do not make such public disclosures?

Primary Findings

Firms that made announcements of environmental efforts beyond compliance significantly reduced their overall releases of chemicals and thereby improved their environmental performance compared to firms that did not make such announcements. The research suggests that so-called “greenwashing,” or exaggerating a firm’s commitment to green environmental performance, does not appear to be prevalent.