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Environmental social governance information and disclosure from a company perspective: a structured literature review

Published Online:pp 304-322

The availability of non-financial information including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data has skyrocketed in the last two decades. The information on ESG scores is valuable for understanding whether companies are explicitly considering ESG targets, developing plans to incorporate these targets into their businesses, and assessing to what extent the companies successfully reach these targets. In fact, the higher the ESG score, the better the company's performance should be with respect to ESG targets. The explicit incorporation of ESG targets could lead towards transitioning to sustainable and socially responsible businesses capable of dealing with grand societal challenges. While ESG has been mostly explored from an investor's point of view, this structured review takes a company's perspective. By analysing the citation network using CitNetExplorer, two important managerial trends are identified: 1) the characteristics of CEOs and their boards affect ESG disclosure and performance; 2) ESG disclosure influences access to debt financing, cost of capital, and financial performance.


environmental, social, and governance, ESG scores, ESG information, ESG disclosure, CEO and board characteristics, financing decisions