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How firms select environmental behaviours in China: The framework of environmental motivations and performance

Cheng, Hongwei, Hu, Xuming, Zhou, Rui
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.208 pp. 132-141
accounting, eco-efficiency, environmental management, finance, management systems, manufacturing, motivation, surveys, China
Despite previous findings devoted to the relationship between the environment and performance, limitations have been identified regarding the impact of environmental motivations and behaviours. This study investigated production behaviour (the development of environment-friendly production) and accounting behaviour (the tracking of environmental costs) to examine the connection between environmental motivations and behaviours as well as to explain the effects on environmental management systems and financial performance. Using survey data from 253 Chinese manufacturing firms, the results revealed that sustainable environmental motivations produced more environmental behaviours, but business-oriented environmental motivations inhibited such behaviours, and sustainable firms were more concerned about production, while business-oriented firms were more focused on the accounting process. Furthermore, environmental motivations and behaviours can affect firms’ environmental management systems and thereby generate high financial performance. This study advances environmental motivation-behaviour theory and eco-efficiency research and provides recommendations for management practices.