Junior Management Science, Volume 7, Issue 3, July 2022

Pricing Sustainable Shipping of Coffee: Consumers’ Preferences and Willingness to Pay for Emission Reductions and Offsets

Ulrich Bek, Technische Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 543-568

The goal of this study is to explore whether decarbonization of maritime shipping and the full supply chain are valued in customer perception. Understanding consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for sustainable maritime shipping of goods can provide opportunities to spread the costs of required sectorial changes. Decarbonization labels were compared to the Fairtrade and European organic label. A discrete choice experiment (DCE) with 299 participants was performed and supporting data was considered for an exhaustive description of preferences and WTP in the exemplary use case of filter coffee. The results indicate a significant WTP premium for all labels. On average, direct reductions of all supply chain emissions were valued at 2.82€ (all values per 500g of coffee) and are thus comparable in importance to the Fairtrade label estimated at 2.77€. Maritime shipping offsets, reductions and offsets for the full supply chain were valued at average premiums of 1.79€, 1.95€ and 1.89€. Organic labelling led to an average premium of 1.61€. A random parameter logit model with correlated parameters found significant preference heterogeneity across participants for all labels. Participants preferring whole bean to ground coffee did not significantly differ in their underlying preferences for the sustainability dimensions but in their price perception and effectively displayed higher WTP for all attributes. This study contributes to current research by providing a thorough measurement of preferences and WTP for emission reductions along the supply chain and is the first to assess offsets compared to direct reductions in a controlled setting for a common product use case.

Keywords: Sustainable maritime shipping; direct decarbonization; carbon offsets; discrete choice experiment; pricing.

The Variety of CSR Disclosure and its Relationship with the Underlying Performance: A Textual Analysis

Niklas Winterberg, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Masterarbeit)

Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 569-603

This study examines the relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure and the underlying CSR performance. The linguistic features of integrated and stand-alone sustainability reports from companies listed in the STOXX Europe 600 between 2010 and 2018 are investigated using computer-based textual analysis. The observed textual features are as follows: length, numeric content, horizon content, target orientation, readability, tone, topic-specific disclosure, and the number of topics covered. Additional variables include whether the report is following the framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), whether the CSR information is integrated into the annual report or prepared as a stand-alone report, and whether the company is defined as an early or late adopter. Concerning the relationship between the textual characteristics and CSR performance, the results support the hypotheses that length, target orientation, and the number of GRI topics covered are positively correlated with the performance. Concerning topic-specific disclosure, only the environmental and social dimensions are positively correlated with the corresponding performance. The results also reveal that companies with superior CSR performance tend to publish stand-alone reports under the GRI framework and started reporting before the announcement of the EU Directive in 2014.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; sustainability; sustainability reporting; textual analysis; GRI.

Auswirkung der europäischen CSR-Richtlinie (2014/95/EU) auf die Glaubwürdigkeit der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung – Eine empirische Untersuchung deutscher börsennotierter Unternehmen

Tim Scheufen, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 604-642

Die Europäische Union hat die CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU auf den Weg gebracht, um die Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung zu verbessern und damit das Vertrauen der Stakeholder zu stärken. Die bestehende Literatur weist darauf hin, dass zahlreiche Stakeholder der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung von Unternehmen mit Misstrauen gegenüberstehen. Die fehlende Glaubwürdigkeit führt dazu, dass das Unternehmen seine Legitimität bzw. Akzeptanz in der Gesellschaft verliert. Aus diesem Grund untersucht die Masterarbeit, ob die implementierte CSR-Richtlinie die Glaubwürdigkeit in der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung erhöht hat. Diese Fragestellung wird anhand einer deutschen Stichprobe untersucht (MDAX). Hierfür wird die Glaubwürdigkeit der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung vor und nach der Einführung der CSR-Richtlinie quantifiziert. Die Messung der Glaubwürdigkeit erfolgt mit Hilfe eines Glaubwürdigkeitsindex, welcher aus den folgenden drei Dimensionen besteht: (1) Wahrheit, (2) Wahrhaftigkeit sowie (3) Angemessenheit & Verständlichkeit. Die Ergebnisse zeigen einen statistisch signifikanten Anstieg der Dimensionen Wahrheit und Wahrhaftigkeit nach der Einführung der CSR-Richtlinie, was für die Wirksamkeit der durchgeführten CSR-Richtlinie hinsichtlich der Glaubwürdigkeit spricht.

Keywords: CSR-Richtlinie 2014/95/EU; Glaubwürdigkeit; Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung; MDAX.

Demand Estimation for Solar Photovoltaics in the United States – An Instrumental Variable Approach

Veronique Clara Bukow, Technische Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 643-667

Worldwide the demand for solar photovoltaics (PV) has increased significantly over the past decades. This was driven by a price reduction for solar PV systems. A two-stage least squares linear regression yields insights into the price sensitivity for residential customers in the U.S., and California in particular. The specification includes instrumental variables as well as fixed effects to account for the common issues of endogeneity and data heterogeneity in demand estimation problems, respectively. The variation in the sales tax rate on solar PV and the movements of polysilicon spot prices are used to instrumentalise PV price changes. The regression results imply an inelastic demand with a long-term price elasticity of -0.443, accounting for differences over state and time. Investigating price elasticities for various income groups shows that lower-income customers react more strongly to price changes compared to those with relatively high income (-0.521 vs. -0.195). Likewise, regions with lower population density are more sensitive to price changes (-0.473 vs. -0.338). Besides price, installation costs and technological efficiency majorly impact the system size installed. Results of this study can provide data-driven guidance to efficient policy design and pricing strategies.

Keywords: Price elasticity; solar photovoltaic; instrumental variables; demand estimation.

Analysis of Green Bonds

Tobias Friedrich Fauß, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen & University of Nottingham (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 668-689

Issuing its first green federal security in 2020, Germany pioneered a unique twin bond concept to address potential liquidity risks compared to their conventional counterparts. A switch mechanism between green and conventional bonds was introduced that allows debt-neutral sale-and-purchase (switch) transactions by the issuing authority. The main goal of this dissertation is to provide a theoretical model that is capable to explain the effects of this twin bond concept on the pricing of green bonds. For this purpose, a stochastic liquidity premium following a Vasicek (1977) process, a constant green premium and a switch option, which is executed when the green bond price falls below the price of its conventional twin bond, are assumed. The model results confirm that this twin bond concept is a viable solution to mitigate illiquidity-induced costs for the green bonds. The main learning from the model is a potential positive value of the switch option before its execution. This implies that issuers adopting this concept could benefit from lower costs of capital compared to ordinary green bonds without a switch mechanism. For investors holding the green instruments, this implies a reduced exposure to liquidity risks.

Keywords: Green bonds; German twin bonds; green premium; liquidity premium; switch transactions.

Opportunities and Challenges in Commissioning Materiality-Driven Sustainability Reporting Towards the SDGs: The Case of Cadeler A/S

Darian Nestor Weicht, University of Southern Denmark (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, University of Southern Denmark

Frequently and recently tightening and expanding sustainability reporting policies and requirements can pose significant administrative burdens on SMEs upholding a strong culture of accountability to their stakeholder network. This seminal case study examines how a Danish offshore wind farm commissioner can efficiently (1) navigate towards credibility in and (2) derive actionable insights from their sustainability (reporting) integration trajectory by capitalizing on the increasingly emphasized materiality principle. Group-based Fuzzy AHP and Textual Analysis aim to excavate and assess senior managers’ and external stakeholders’ preferences based on the GRI Standards and the UN’s SDG targets. Internal priorities emphasize safety, compliance, and profitability, whereas external stakeholders’ and their groups’ priorities exhibit mixed findings on their type and extent of alignment with the former. Content elements assigned higher relative importance tend to be more robust to changes in decision-makers’ uncertainty and verbal bias. The author confirms that a simplicity-informativeness trade-off tends to be driven by stakeholder grouping and that a data-driven, subject-based, and objectifying approach should be complemented with context, managerial judgment, and process iteration.

Keywords: Sustainability; materiality; prioritization; credibility; actionability.

Carbon Pricing: A Comparison between Germany and the United Kingdom

Karina Temoche González, Technische Universität München (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 731-755

Climate change is a global problem that almost every country – 191 parties had signed the Paris Agreement – has committed to undertake. The European Union (EU) has been one of the pioneers in implementing policies that tackle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In 2005, the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) was launched as the first carbon market. Despite the EU ETS evolving throughout the years, the United Kingdom (UK) implemented an additional policy. In 2013, the UK introduced a Carbon Price Floor (CPF). This paper examines the impact of carbon pricing on GHG emissions during phase III of the EU ETS (2017-2020) in Germany and the UK. Electricity generated by nuclear and renewable sources are considered in the analysis. There are two research questions. First, is the impact of carbon pricing in these two countries, measured by using an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) model for panel data. The results show that the UK has been more successful in reducing GHG emissions because of the CPF implementation. Second, whether the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) – a policy within the EU ETS – acted as a Carbon Price Floor (CPF) for Germany. Using a model of Differences in Differences (DD), this paper showed that the MSR significantly reduced the CO2 emissions of Germany.

Keywords: Carbon price; EU ETS; CO2 emissions; carbon price floor; market stability reserve; differences in differences.

Der Einfluss von Sustainable Supply Chain Management auf die Unternehmensperformance – Eine empirische Analyse herstellender und verarbeitender Unternehmen in Deutschland

Sören Schwulera, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 756-801

Unternehmen implementieren Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) Praktiken, um nicht nur auf ökonomischer, sondern auch auf ökologischer und sozialer Ebene der Tripple Bottom Line (TBL) wettbewerbsfähig zu bleiben. Das Ziel der vorliegenden Arbeit war es empirisch den Einfluss von SSCM Praktiken auf die ökonomische, ökologische und auch die soziale Ebene der Unternehmensperformance von herstellenden und verarbeitenden Unternehmen zu untersuchen. Zur Zielerreichung wurde anhand einschlägiger Fachliteratur ein theoretisches Forschungsmodell mit jeweils vier internen und externen SSCM Praktiken aufgestellt, für die ein positiver Effekt auf alle drei Ebenen der Unternehmensperformance erwartet wurde. Nach einer Online-Befragung in den 500 umsatzstärksten herstellenden und verarbeitenden Unternehmen in Deutschland wurden 61 Fragebögen anhand einer Partial Least Squares Strukturgleichungsmodellierung ausgewertet. Es konnten insgesamt 10 der 28 erwarteten positiven Effekte interner und externer SSCM Praktiken auf die drei Ebenen der Unternehmensperformance bestätigt werden. Die vorliegende Arbeit bietet ein theoretisches Forschungsmodell für weiterführende Studien und dient Entscheidungsträgern in Unternehmen als Entscheidungshilfe zur Implementierung von SSCM Praktiken.

Keywords: Sustainable Supply Chain Management; Unternehmensperformance; Tripple Bottom Line; Partial Least Squares Strukturgleichungsmodellierung.

The Economic Upside of Green Real Estate Investments: Analyzing the Impact of Energy Efficiency on Building Valuation in the Residential Sector

Timo Deller, Technische Universität München (Bachelorarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 802-825

The rising sustainability awareness will affect the carbon-intensive European real estate industry and will force it to adapt to meet climate targets. The purpose of this thesis is to examine whether the energy efficiency of buildings plays a role in the valuation of buildings in the residential sector in the Rhein-Main Region in Germany. This is done by looking at the impact of energy performance certificates of buildings on their rent and sales prices. Data from publicly available real estate advertisements for the years 2019-2020 are analyzed using hedonic regression models. The rent market analysis (N = 44 442) finds significant cold rent premiums of 5.82%, 2.04%, 3.06% for A+, A and B rated buildings compared to the reference level of D. Significant warm rent premiums of 3.86% and 1.98% are found for A+ and B rated buildings. No significant discounts are found for buildings rated below D for cold and warm rents. The sales market analysis (N = 31 426) shows significant premiums of 6.81%, 3.14% and 1.52% for A+, A and B rated buildings, a range of indifference with no premiums or discounts for C to F rated buildings and discounts of -1.73% and -8.80% for G and H rated buildings. The results show that high energy efficiency of buildings creates significant value for investors.

Keywords: Real estate investments; real estate valuation; green buildings; energy efficiency; sustainability.

Corporate Social Responsibility und die Effekte nachhaltiger Unternehmenspraktiken und unterschiedlicher Greenwashing-Methoden auf die Unternehmensreputation

Simon Mütze, Leibniz Universität Hannover (Masterarbeit)
Junior Management Science 7(3), 2022, 826-873

Mit dem zunehmenden Bewusstsein für nachhaltigen Konsum gewinnt Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) immer mehr an Bedeutung. Bei der Kommunikation ebendieser unternehmerischen Nachhaltigkeit (Green Marketing) haben falsche oder vage Behauptungen, das sogenannte Greenwashing, jedoch mittlerweile epidemische Ausmaße angenommen. Aus diesem Grund haben viele Verbraucher eine grundsätzliche Skepsis gegenüber dieser Art von Kommunikation aufgebaut. Ziel dieser Studie ist es, Marketern dabei zu helfen, effektive und aufrichtige Unternehmenspraktiken zu etablieren und zu kommunizieren, um den Herausforderungen des Greenwashings zu begegnen. In dieser Studie wird daher mittels eines Feldexperiments untersucht, wie häufig Greenwashing überhaupt von Verbrauchern erkannt wird, was Unternehmen für eine erfolgreiche CSR beachten müssen und insbesondere, welche Auswirkungen unterschiedliche CSR-Initiativen, Greenwashing-Methoden und Greenwashing-Skandale auf die Unternehmensreputation haben.

Keywords: CSR; Greenwashing; Unternehmensreputation; Unternehmerische Nachhaltigkeit; Umweltsiegel.