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Keywords:

  • sustainable development;
  • financial performance;
  • environmental performance;
  • environmental policy;
  • economic crisis

ABSTRACT

Over the past years there has been a debate on the relationship between the environmental and financial performance of businesses, but researchers have not reached any agreement. This research attempts to explore this relationship, especially as in recent years there has been controversy about how this relationship has been affected by the global economic crisis. Taking into account that successfully limiting global climate change to safe levels in the long term is likely to require connecting climate change policies to sustainable development strategies, this paper focuses on the performance of environmental policies. We used a sample of 855 international companies in sectors of intensive greenhouse gas/CO2 emissions. Specifically, we used data from the Forbes Global 2000 Index and Carbon Disclosure Project data from 2006 to 2009. The data analysis was performed using panel data methodology. The results obtained show that in times of economic crisis, the synergy between environmental and financial performance is higher, meaning that companies must continue to invest in sustainable projects in order to enhance relations with their stakeholders, leading to higher economic profits. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment