Saving the environment with indigenous directors: Evidence from Africa
Vincent Tawiah, Reon Matemane, Babajide Oyewo, Tesfaye T. Lemma
Business Strategy and the Environment
Business School

Does representation of marginalised communities have an effect on a company's environmental performance? A DCU research collaboration has made a statistical analysis of 199 firms listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange between 2015-2021 against various variables (creating over 2000 data points.) The environmental factor is determined by the score for environmental performance as determined by the FTSE Russell database, which captures the quality of a company's management of issues associated with climate change,biodiversity, water security, pollution and resources, and supply chain.

The motivation for our study arises from three sources. First, recent years have witnessed an increasing call for involving indigenous peoples in corporate decision-making. In this regard, the corporate governance code of South Africa (King IV) recommends that a company's governing body be racially diverse. The paper examines whether the appointment of IDs to corporate boards would shape CEP, using the South African setting. Second, although South Africa boasts of comprehensive environmental laws and policies, its environmental record is wanting. In this study, we seek to explore whether the appointment of IDs to corporate BoDs would improve CEP, and thus, contribute to South Africa's environmental performance. Third, prior studies that explore the impact of involvement of indigenous peoples on corporate outcomes are carried out in contexts in which indigenous peoples are minorities. We extend the literature by exploring the relationship between IDs and CEP, using a context in which indigenous peoples constitute most of the population.