Kravet på att hållbarhetsrapportera och dess påverkan på företags kreditvärdighet

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: The European Union’s directive on mandatory sustainability reporting was implemented for the fiscal year of 2017. The directive implies that companies must present common principles and governance models that describe their strategic choices linked to sustainability. To capture corporate sustainability performance in sustainability reporting, the study applies environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures. Being inspired by the increasing societal demand and the absence of empirical studies in the field of research, the purpose of this study is to investigate whether mandatory sustainability reporting has affected European companies' credit ratings. In this way, the study can present a more complete picture of the consequences that the directive entails and thereby assist with possible explanations for the change in creditworthiness.By studying 669 European companies, two regressions were performed in order to first analyze the relationship between ESG and creditworthiness. Additionally, another regression was performed to demonstrate the impact of mandatory sustainability reporting on creditworthiness. The result of the first regression shows that there is a positive relationship, at a 10 percent significance level, between ESG and creditworthiness. However, the results do not present a causal relationship, which means that it may as well be the credit rating affecting ESG. Regression two presents evidence that mandatory sustainability reporting has had an impact on corporate credit rating, at 1 percent significance level, and that the credit rating of the treated group has increased since the directive was introduced. Hence, the study concludes that the directive has reduced market imperfections by increasing transparency and acted as an incentive for companies to act more sustainable. Thus, credit rating agencies can more accurately estimate corporate credit risk, of which it is easier for credit issuers to distinguish between low- and high-quality borrowers.Key words: Sustainability, ESG, creditworthiness, Directive 2014/95/EU

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