Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics

The Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) research mobilisation group aims to foster and promote collaborative research in sustainable finance, development and economics, including climate finance, social and environmental disclosure, and the reporting and evaluation of ESG and the implementation of social development initiatives. A partner of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR), SAFE aims to achieve greater dialogue and engagement between academia, business, practitioners and other societal stakeholders.

Image of some hands holding money and a tree

  • Research

    Research Themes

    1. Accounting and Accountability for Sustainability: Disclosure, Measurement, and Control. 

    2. Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Products: Pricing, Modelling Issues, Risk Management Techniques, and Financial Performance Measures.  

    3. Corporate Policies, Accountability, and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). 

    4. Sustainable Accounting & Finance and Organizational Change within Businesses. 

    5. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Regulation Violations and Corporate Outcomes: Management Turnovers, Cost of Capital, and Behaviour of Insiders

    6. Macroeconomic Events and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policies: The Impact of Government’s CSR Polices, Policy Uncertainty, and Geopolitical Risk.

    Recent Research

    Ahmed, S., Uddin, Shahzad and Shahadat, Khandakar (2023). Supply chain accountability, COVID-19, and violations of workers’ rights in the global clothing supply chain. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal.

    Fabozzi, F. J., Tunaru, D. E., & Tunaru, R. S. (2022). The Interconnectedness between Green Finance Indexes and Other Important Financial Variables. The Journal of Portfolio Management48(10), 60-77.

    He, K., Pan, X., Tian, G. G., Wu, Y., & Cai, C. (2022). How does reciprocal rent-seeking between politicians and auditors influence audit quality? Evidence from China. Accounting Horizons36(3), 103-126.

    Nguyen, Q. (2023). Political Similarities in Credit Ratings. International Review of Financial Analysis (Accepted for publication – ABS

    Nguyen, Q. M., Do, H. X., Molchanov, A., Nguyen, L., & Nguyen, N. H. (2020). Asymmetric trading responses to credit rating announcements from issuer‐versus investor‐paid rating agencies. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting.

    Wang, L., Wu, J., Cao, Y. and Hong, Y., (2022). Forecasting renewable energy stock volatility using short and long-term Markov switching GARCH-MIDAS models: Either, neither or both?. Energy Economics, 111, 106056.

    Wu, Y., & Tian, G. G. (2021). Public relations expenditure, media tone, and regulatory decisions. Journal of Corporate Finance66, 101793.

    Zhang, Q., Ding, R., Chen, D., & Zhang, X. (2022). The Effects of Mandatory ESG Disclosure on Price Discovery Efficiency Around the World. Available at SSRN 4308420.

  • Members
  • Projects

    1. Investigation of pricing of European Union Allowances (EUA) carbon credits as well as modelling the structure and dynamics of energy prices. Funded by the Czech Sci-ence Foundation. Amount: £200,000 Period: 2022-2024.

    2. Investigation of corporate insider trading around ESG scandals. Funded by OP Bank Foundation, Finland. Amount: 21,000. Period: March 2022-September 2024.

    3. Accounting for Indentured Labour – The Case of Assam Tea Plantations.

    4. Analysis of Sustainability Reporting Practices in Coffee Plantations in India. Funded by SEEDS Impact, an NGO based in India. Amount: £2,000.

  • News and Events

    Wednesday 8 November

    2pm-3pm Jub-G32 & Online – Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) seminar

    Speaker: Professor Mahbub Zaman, University of Hull

    Title: CEO Leadership and ESG Performance: Boardroom Diversity and Critical Mass


    This paper investigates the relationship between CEO leadership, gender homophily and corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. Using a sample of FTSE-All-Share firms for the period 2011-2019, we find female CEOs have a positive association with ESG performance. Also, we find a critical mass of female directors contributes to ESG performance suggesting that token representation of female directors on boards limits their effectiveness. We do not find support for the gender homophily perspective, our findings suggest that the effectiveness of female CEOs does not depend on the existence of a critical mass of female directors. Female directors and female CEOs are less likely to be associated with ESG activities when firms experience poor financial performance. Female CEOs are more likely to promote and engage in sustainability practices when they have been in their roles for a shorter period than longer tenure CEOs. Moreover, younger female CEOs have a positive impact on ESG performance. Overall, our findings suggest a substitutional effect between having female CEOs and gender diverse boards. Our study complements existing academic research on female leadership and ESG performance and has important implications for corporations and policymakers.

    To register for this seminar with Eventbrite please click here.

    Wednesday 4 October 2023

    2pm-4pm, Jub-135 & Online - Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) seminar

    Speaker: Dr Susana Martins - Global Priorities Institute, University of Oxford

    Title: What are the events that shake our world? From geopolitical to climate risks


    Financial markets are difficult to predict accurately. Realised returns are more extreme than predicted when important events trigger adjustments in forecasts across asset classes, sectors and countries. Such impactful events could be elections, policy changes, terrorist attacks, wars, pandemics or climate change. The magnitude of such shocks is defined as global COVOL which is an abbreviation for global common volatility, a broad measure of all types of global financial risk. Global COVOL thus explains large, unexpected outcomes and why they are often common to a wide range of financial assets. Two empirical examples on broad geopolitical risk and climate change show the events that have had the biggest impact on financial markets. Results have important implications for portfolio optimization, risk management and financial stability.

    For further details and to register for this seminar with Eventbrite please click here.

    Wednesday 20 September 2023

    9am-2:30pm in Gallery Room 1, Bramber House, University of Sussex – Research Capacity Workshop co-hosted by SAFE Research Mobiliser Group and CSEAR Italy

    Title: Identities, Accounting and Decision-Making for Sustainable Transformation

    Drawing on an ongoing multidisciplinary research project, which brings together psychology, accounting and sustainability scholars, the workshop aims to provide a stimulating setting for engaging, discussing, and examining the processes through which sustainable decision-making is (or it is not) undertaken.

    Hosted by Dr Massimo Contrafatto, University of Sussex Business School & Director of CSEAR-Italy, with Plenary Speaker, Dr Fergus Neville, University of St Andrews Business School.

    More information about this workshop is available here.


For any enquiries, email Gonul Colak ( or Sarada Krishnan (