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.

    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

    Tuesday, 6 June 2023

    10:30 - 12pm in Jubilee G32 & online - Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) seminar

    Speaker: Enrique Mesa PérezUniversidad Loyola.

    Title: Making things different: The influence of subpolitics on the construction of water reuse risk

    To register for this seminar with Eventbrite please click here.


    Risk is a social construction based on perceptions and fears. Following Beck’s (1992) thesis of risk society, we analyze the role of accounting in the construction of risk through a case study on risk for water reuse. Reclaimed water is an alternative water resource that can help to fight water scarcity. However, water reuse is not without risk, risk management is required to provide safety and trust to consumers of agricultural products. We use Miller’s (1992) idea of calculative spaces to analyze how accounting enables the management of water risk. The analysis shows how quantification allows the creation of risk indicators representing risky substances and pathogens and their acceptable levels. Indicators quantify the threshold of pathogens and substances below which water reuse is not regarded as a risk to human health. However, quantification is affected by a subpolitical process in which experts and key actors involved in risk management participate. Subpolitics affects the construction of indicators producing side-effects. On the one hand, scientists and experts' involvement can lead to congestion when determining indicators’ acceptable levels. On the other hand, overcoming congestion can provoke indicators to further generate unintended side-effects. By differentiating two types of water depending on its origin, surface water and reclaimed water, water risk management indicators may hinder, rather than promote the use of reclaimed water.

    Friday, 24 March 2023

    Professor Colak's work noted at Columbia University.

    Wednesday, 22 March 2023


    Speaker: Professor Abraham Lioui, EDHEC Business School

    Title: Understanding the Carbon Price(s) of Risk


    Do investors care about carbon emissions? A large confusion emerged recently where a positive, a negative and no answer were provided to this question. Most importantly, the measurement of emissions (physical emissions vs. intensity) and noise in measurement have been shown to be relevant to understand the findings. We dissect in this paper the Fama and Mackbeth methodology which is the most used one to measure the carbon price of risk. Explicating the implied carbon factor from this methodology helps put in perspective the mixed empirical evidence. We offer a methodology to compare between alternative methods to measure the carbon price of risk. A key empirical finding is the strong time-variation in the carbon price of risk which question the common practice to measure this price of risk.   

    Friday, 24 February 2023

    We are delighted to announce that our member, Dr Shoaib Ahmed has been chosen as the winner of the LERA 2023 James G. Scoville Best International/Comparative Industrial Relations Paper Award for his paper co-authored with Shazad Uddin: Workplace Bullying and Intensification of Labour Controls in the Clothing Supply Chain: PostRana Plaza Disaster. We congratulate him on behlaf of the entire SAFE team.

    Workshop announced for Friday 28 April:

    Collaborative Research Workshop for PhD Students and ECRs from Marginalised Communities to Publish in Critical Accounting and Management Journals, organised by Dr Shoaib Ahmed.

    New seminars announced for May: 

    The risks from climate change to sovereign debt (in-person), Prof. Stavros Zenios (University of Cyprus), Wednesday 3 May, 10.30-12.00 

    The Entrepreneurial Finance of Fintech Firms and the Effect of Fintech Investments on the Performance of Corporate Investors (online),  Prof. Tom Chemmanur (Boston College, Carroll School of Management), Wednesday 10 May, 15.00-16.30     

    Thursday, 16 February 2023

    We are happy to announce that the latest publication of our member Dr Shoaib Ahmed in Supply Chain Management: An International Journal is now available.

    Wednesday, 13 December

    We are delighted to announce that a leading member of SAFE, Dr Massimo Contrafatto, Reader in Accounting, has been elected as a Member of the Executive Council of CSEAR (Center for Social and Environmental Accounting Research).

    Wednesday, 16 November

    1:30-3:30pm in Silverstone 317 & online – Sustainability in Accounting, Finance and Economics (SAFE) seminar

    Speakers: Xian Gu – Durham University

    Title: Friends in High Places: Political Ties and SEC Oversight of Foreign Firms

    To register for this seminar with Eventbrite please click here


    In this paper, we examine the effect of country-level political relationships on SEC oversight of US-listed foreign firms, ranging from routine review of issuer filings to enforcement actions. We find that the political relationship between a foreign firm’s home country and the US is an important determinant of the frequency and intensity of SEC comment letters as well as whether the firm is likely to face enforcement. When the firm’s home country has stronger political ties with the US, the frequency of comment letters issued by the SEC is lower, the tone of comment letters is less negative and litigious and the firm is less likely to be the subject of an SEC enforcement action. We further examine the extent to which SEC routine monitoring through comment letters complements its enforcement activity, and we find that, although the relationship is generally complementary, when the political ties with the US are stronger, the complementary effect is mitigated.

    Teas, coffee and cookies will be available from 1:30pm

    Thursday, 11 November 2022

    We're happy to announce that Professor Radu Tunaru, Head of the Accounting and Finance Department and key founding member of the SAFE RMG, has been invited to be a guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Climate Finance.

    Tuesday, 8 November 2022

    10am-12:30pm in Jub-G32 & online – Sustainability in Accounting, Finance & Economics Seminar

    Speaker: Jiří Witzany - University of Economics, Prague

    Title: Machine learning applications to valuation of options on non-liquid markets; carbon derivatives

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


    Recently, there has been a considerable interest in machine learning (ML) applications to valuation of options. However, it is usually assumed that there is a relatively liquid market with plain vanilla option quotations that can be used to calibrate (using a ML approach such as a neural network - NN) the volatility surface, or to estimate parameters of an advanced stochastic model. In the second stage the calibrated volatility surface (or the model parameters) are used to value given exotic options, again using a trained NN (or another ML model). The two NNs are typically trained “off-line” by sampling many model and market parameters´ combinations and calculating the options´ market values. In our research, we focus on the quite common situation of a non-liquid option market where we lack sufficiently many plain vanilla option quotations to calibrate the volatility surface, but we still need to value an exotic option or a just plain vanilla option subject to a more advanced stochastic model as it is typical on energy and carbon derivative markets. We show that it is possible to use selected moments of the underlying historical price return series complemented with a volatility risk premium estimate to value such options using the ML approach.

    Drinks and cookies will be available from 10am.

    Thursday, 13 October 2022

    Time 1-2pm in Jub-G32 & online – Accounting & Finance Seminar

    Speakers: Mansoor Afzali - Hanken School of Economics

    TitleClimate Change Denial and Corporate Environmental Performance 


    There is an overwhelming consensus among scientists that climate change is an existing and human-caused threat to our planet. However, recent surveys show that climate change denial continues to plague societies. Since corporate activity causing climate change is fundamentally rooted in individual beliefs and societal institutions, we ask whether general perceptions about climate change matter for firms’ environmental sustainability practices. Using climate change perception surveys, we compute a novel measure of climate change denial for each county in the United States. We find that in counties where climate change denial is higher, local corporations have poorer environmental performance ratings and are more likely to commit environmental violations. Our results are not explained by the levels of religiosity, social capital, political orientation, or other county demographics, and are robust to using alternative environmental ratings and addressing potential endogeneity. We also find some evidence suggesting that lower environmental performance of local firms in high climate change denial counties stems from lower demand for environmental regulation. Our findings offer new insights on how local perceptions on climate-related issues drive organizational sustainability practices.


    Drinks and cookies will be available beforehand. 

    This seminar will be held in person in Jub-G32 and also via Zoom for those who cannot attend physically.  If you would like to attend this seminar via Zoom please contact Yvonne Barnes for joining details.


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