Portfolio investment managers and institutional investor clients are becoming more sensitive to the investment risks and opportunities that corporate governance and corporate environmental performance pose because of the growth in understanding of their potential financial repercussions. However, while both corporate governance and corporate environmental performance are increasingly examined within the financial marketplace, there is very limited empirical research that examines them together. In this paper, an empirical analysis utilizing proprietary quantitative data from two non-financial rating agencies is conducted in order to develop an understanding of the relationship between these two types of corporate performance, their causes, and their consequences. The findings of this paper do not suggest that there is a direct correlation between corporate governance and environmental performance. However, it is established that each has been improving over time, and that a convergence in standards is occurring between poor and strong performing firms. Perhaps the most salient finding of this research is that both the corporate governance and corporate environmental performance share a common predictor - disclosure. The discovery of a significant relationship between disclosure and performance is very important as it suggests that when a firm discloses non-financial performance information, actors within the firm become increasingly concerned with managing those revealed areas. Therefore, global standards of corporate governance and environmental performance are likely to be improved by of the recent explosion in demand for disclosure by institutional investors in these areas.
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