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., 2024. Wage theft, secrecy, and derealization of “ideal workers” in the Bangladesh garment industry. Organization Studies, p.01708406241236608.

    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.

    Azevedo, A., Colak, G., El Kalak, I. and Tunaru, R. (2024). The timing of voluntary delisting. Journal of Financial Economics155, p.103832

  • 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

    19 February 2024 

    Speaker : Prof. Lee Parker, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School

    Title of the paper: Third Sector Crisis Management and Resilience: Reflections and Directions

    Abstract : This paper examines the challenges posed to third sector organisations by major external crises that from time to time beset national and global communities. In so doing it unpacks the multiple characteristics and complexities of concepts and related issues involved in organisational crisis management and resilience. This reveals the importance of shared sensemaking, issue identification, response types and implementation, organisational coping and adaptation, exploiting strategic opportunities, and conditioners of organisational resilience. Related insights are drawn from selected empirical studies involving non-profit organisational crisis responses to a range of major crisis events. Accountability and management control implications are induced and a relevant ongoing agenda for accounting research is presented.

    19 February

    Round table Talk: Managing Crises: lessons from the COVID-19

    (Organised by Dr Massimo Contrafatto, University of Sussex Business School and Moderated by Prof. Ericka Costa, University of Trento (Italy)

    Panel/Presenting Members :

    Prof. Lee Parker, University of Glasgow and Editor of AAAJ

    Prof. Massimo Sargiacomo, University of Chieti-Pescara (Italy)

    Prof. Gonul Colak, University of Sussex (UK)

    Dr. Michele Bigoni, Kent Business School (UK)               

    20 February 2024 

    Speaker: Lee Parker – University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School

    Presentation for Early Career Researchers 

    Title: Developing and Managing Academic Career

    28 February 2024 

    Speaker : Prof. Dimitrios Gounopoulos, University of Bath 

    Title: The Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Real Estate Market


    Using detailed housing transaction data in the U.S. covering 2010-2019 period, we find that wildfire-generated smoke negatively predict both housing valuation and real estate market liquidity. Listings in smoke-exposed areas experience longer outstanding days, suffer a widening opening-closing price spectrum, thus leading to overall market activity reduction. The exogeneity of smoke incidence to local economic activities suggests a causal relationship of how wildland-fire by-product determines the U.S. housing market. Besides concentrating in areas experiencing multiple incidences in a year, smoke reveals its strongest effect on property market within the first 6 to 12 months before dissipating one year later. We observe the most pronounced effect in areas whose population is generally concerned about climate change. Our findings attribute smoke influencing on housing market to migration channel.

    For registrations:

    6 March 2024

    Speaker :  Prof. Bin Xu,  University of Leeds

    Title: Does Segment Disclosure Constrain Corporate Pollution?


    We examine whether corporate segment disclosure affects firm environmental performance. Using mandatory segment reporting in the United States as a shock, we find that mandatory disclosure of previously hidden segments that belong to pollutive industries reduces toxic pollution of firm plants. Consistent with the notion that segment disclosure enhances the monitoring of firm pollution by highlighting the materiality of pollutive segments and drawing stakeholders’ attention to underlying environmental issues, the effect is stronger for plants that are under less stringent regulatory and public scrutiny and when the newly disclosed segments are more pollutive. Disclosing firms reduce pollution by enhancing pollution prevention practices and increasing green innovation, which in turn reduces environmental violations. Overall, this study uncovers the role of segment disclosure in curbing corporate pollution. For registrations:

    13 March 2024 

    Speaker: Prof. Viet Dang, Alliance Manchester Business School

    Title: Labor Mobility and Corporate Environmental Performance


    Using U.S. plant-level data, we find that corporate emissions decline significantly when labor mobility increases due to weaker enforcement of covenants not to compete (CNCs) in the states of residency. The effect is more pronounced for firms relying more on highly skilled labor and intangible capital, having lower degrees of financial constraints, or facing greater product market competition. We further document that treated firms increase their green innovation and investment as labor mobility restrictions relax. Our results suggest that greater labor mobility improves corporate environmental performance by boosting emission abatement activities, highlighting an environmental benefit of labor mobility.


    For registrations: []

     27th March 2024 - Brown Bag Seminar
    Speaker: Dr Quan Nguyen, University of Sussex, paper co-authored with  Professor Tao Chen (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Professor Ben R. Marshall and Professor Nuttawat Visaltanachoti (Massey University, New Zealand), and Professor Nhut H. Nguyen (AUT, New Zealand) 
    Title: Ethical Funds and Return Manipulation
    We study whether ethical funds focusing on ESG engage in less return manipulation. We show that portfolio pumping, which involves artificially inflating end-of-period portfolio returns, is less prevalent in ethical funds. Ethical fund flows are less sensitive to returns, so ethical fund managers have less pressure to engage in pumping following poor returns. The lower return manipulation of ethical funds is more prevalent when they receive more attention and when the political environment is more supportive of ethical investment. Manager characteristics also play a role. Portfolio pumping is lower for ethical funds when the managers include females and individuals with higher education.
    22nd April 2024 
    Speaker: Prof. John Y. Campbell, Harvard Business School, paper co-authored Ian W. R. Martin
    Title: Sustainability in a Risky World
    How much consumption is sustainable, if “sustainability” requires that welfare should not be expected to decline over time? We impose a sustainability constraint on a standard consumption/portfolio choice problem. The constraint does not distort port-folio choice, but it imposes an upper bound on the sustainable consumption-wealth ratio, which must lie between the riskless interest rate and the expected return on wealth (and if risky capital evolves according to a geometric Brownian motion, it lies exactly halfway between the two). Sustainability requires an upward drift in wealth and consumption to compensate future generations for the increased risk they face.
    2nd May 2024 
    Speaker - Dr Martin Gregor, institute of Economic Studies
    Title: Board Compensation and Investment Efficiency
    In their role as initiators of new business projects, CEOs have an advantage over access to and control over project-related information. This exacerbates pre-existing agency frictions and may lead to investment inefficiencies. To counteract this challenge, incentive compensation for corporate boards (responsible for approving major projects) emerges as a critical governance tool. Our study demonstrates that the optimal compensation design requires strategically allocating a liability burden between CEOs and boards. When this burden is shifted onto the boards, shareholders reduce management rents, albeit at the expense of residual inefficiency. Our findings thus highlight that shareholders’ tolerance for investment inefficiencies may be rooted in optimal compensation.We predict that contracts tolerating excessive investments are optimal under conditions of low labor market value for  CEOs, severe CEO empire-building, and attractive outside options for directors. Because of structural changes associated with the reallocation of financial incentives, the non-financial characteristics of CEOs and boards may impact investment efficiency, information quality, project profits, and management rents in a non-monotonic manner.


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