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, Shoaib, 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 (Accepted – ABS 3).

    Nguyen, Quan. "Political Similarities in Credit Ratings” has been accepted for publication at International Review of Financial Analysis (ABS3).

    He, Ku; Pan, Xiaofei; Tian, Gary Gang; Wu, Yanling; and Cai, Chun (2022) How does reciprocal rent-seeking between politicians and auditors influence audit quality? Evidence from China. Accounting Horizons, 36 (3). pp. 103-126.

    Tunaru, Radu S, Fabozzi, Frank J, and Diana E (2022) The interconnectedness between green finance indexes and other important financial variables. The Journal of Portfolio Management. jpm.2022.1.392 1-23. ISSN 0095-4918

    Zhang, Qiyu and Ding, Rong and Chen, Ding and Zhang, XiaoXiang, The Effects of Mandatory ESG Disclosure on Price Discovery Efficiency Around the World (December 21, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

    Wu, Yanling and Tian, Gary Gang (2021) Public relations expenditure, media tone, and regulatory decisions. Journal of Corporate Finance, 66. a101793 1-30. 

    Nguyen, Quan MP, Hung Xuan Do, Alexander Molchanov, Lily Nguyen, and Nhut H. Nguyen. "Asymmetric Trading Responses to Credit Rating Announcements from Issuer-versus Investor-Paid Rating Agencies." Available at SSRN 3524019 (2020).

  • 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, 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 (