Researcher ORCID Identifier
Date of Submission
Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2020 Leana E Jacobs
Oil and gas companies are among the largest contributors to climate change given their frequent engagement in activities such as oil production and water usage. Under the SEC’s proposed amendment to modernize mandatory disclosures, firms will have greater discretion in selecting which aspects of their environmental operations to report. This paper seeks to infer how the nature of voluntary reporting may be impacted by this amendment by showing the degree to which firms and the public value disclosures. I evaluate the relationship between environmental disclosure scores and economic performance, measured as return on assets and gross profit margin. The sample includes 30 publicly traded Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas companies, all of which file under the SEC and will be directly susceptible to the change. The results find a negative and significant correlation between score and ROA. A negative and significant correlation is also found between scores and gross margin. Despite the result of the study, I maintain that it is in the best interest of firms to provide discretionary disclosures wherever is needed. The findings should not be viewed as an incentive to report less under the notion that disclosure may negatively impact profitability. By engaging in greener initiatives and reducing reportable risks, firms may gain more confidence in reporting voluntary information. Not only will this result in a higher disclosure score, but it may adjust the nature of these scores to be more informative of sustainable efforts rather than risks.
Jacobs, Leana E., "After 30 Years, the SEC Chooses to Reduce Environmental Disclosures?" (2021). CMC Senior Theses. 2588.
This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.