Criteria:The study examined shareholders' response to a unique set of disclosures about climate change made by U.S. companies through CSRwire based on the following criteria:
- Companies' CSR releases meet the criteria of a voluntary disclosure since companies decide on the content, timing, and the dissemination (CSR in this case) of a disclosure.
- CSRwire is the global leader in disseminating news about corporate social responsibility and sustainability, currently with one-quarter of one million page views every month. This enabled the researchers to study a large sample of disclosures over several years for a wide range of industries made through a single channel.
- CSRwire conveys fresh information to users, a critical aspect of the University of California's research design. While the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is another leading source of GHG data, "investors and others receive information on large companies' emissions at best nine to 10 months after year end, by which time other channels, including CSRwire, may have preempted much of the news content of that information."