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Beard Institute Hosts Discussion of Corporate Environmental Disclosure

Dr.  Michael Toffel, assistant professor at Harvard Business School, addressed The Globalization of Corporate Environmental Disclosure: Accountability or Greenwashing? at the Beard Institute’s spring 2011 Sustainability Speaker Series.


Faculty and students from Duquesne University’s Sustainable MBA program as well as sustainability professionals from local companies and nonprofits heard Toffel discuss how and why companies respond to the globalization of environmentalism.

Research by Toffel and his collaborator Dr. Christopher Marqui  found that the level of a firm’s global embeddedness and environmental pressures from government and civil societies impact the extent of corporate environmental disclosure.

Dr.  Robert Sroufe, the Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness within the Duquesne MBA Sustainability program, commented on the scale and scope of Toffel’s presentation. “The research presented provides insight on corporate disclosure of environmental practices and ways in which firms create impressions of transparency,” Sroufe said. “The work leverages Trucost’s environmental impact data from over 4,000 companies in 44 countries, providing clarity on emerging trends in sustainable business practices.”

The Beard Institute, as a part of the Palumbo -Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University, advances the profession of management through the integration of three established disciplines: business ethics, sustainability and responsible financial management. The Beard Institute collaborates with corporate, nonprofit and academic partners to create innovative research and practical strategies that add measurable value to the business community.

For more information, visit www.duq.edu/beard.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.