Quality & Quantity

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 1941–1958 | Cite as

Does environmental performance affect financial performance? Evidence from Chinese listed companies in heavily polluting industries

  • Feng Shen
  • Yunwen Ma
  • Run Wang
  • Ningning Pan
  • Zhiyi MengEmail author


In recent years, environmental problems have occurred frequently in China, and the relationship between environmental performance (EP) and financial performance (FP) plays an indispensable role in exploring the internalization of corporate environmental responsibility. Using a sample of Chinese listed firms in heavily polluting industries and collected data of the Unit Sewage Fee, we empirically examine the impact of EP on FP. Our empirical results show a concave-down quadratic relationship between EP and FP. After heavily polluting industries became subject to stricter environmental disclosure regulations, however, we found that the quadratic relationship between EP and FP became weaker. Moreover, we revealed that for state-owned firms, the quadratic relationship between EP and FP is not as obvious as it is for non-state-owned firms. Our paper contributes to the growing literature on EP management. It also offers evidence of experience in perfecting the design of enterprise environmental information disclosure systems.


Environmental performance Financial performance Chinese listed companies Heavily polluting industries 



This research was supported by the Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation of the Ministry of Education of China (Grant Nos. 17YJC630119, 16YJC630089). It was also supported by Soft Science Program of Sichuan Province (Grant No. 2019JDR0155), by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. JBK1801009) and the Research Center for System Sciences and Enterprise Development (Grant No. Xq18B07).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of FinanceSouthwestern University of Finance and EconomicsChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Carey Business SchoolJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Business SchoolSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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