讲座主题：Unethical decoupling: Why do firms underreport their environmental achievements?
讲座摘要：Several studies have investigated the factors that drive or curb greenwashing activities, but few have discussed the other side of the coin, brownwashing, the underreporting of environmental achievements, another form of unethical decoupling that is harmful for stakeholders. This study tests and finds that industry leaders use brownwashing to avoid excessive stakeholder attention and retain stakeholders’ expectations while preserving the firm’s leadership. Using a data set of 5,147 firm–year observations over the period from 2006 to 2017, this study shows that environmentally legitimate firms tend to conform to the industry's informal standards when they disclose their environmental activities. We find that this phenomenon can be curbed by adopting sound environmental governance mechanisms aimed at increasing corporate transparency and ethicality.