Legitimacy in Green: Pollution vs. Profit in Canadian Oil Refineries

Vanessa Magness


This paper examines the correlation of financial and environmental performance in the petroleum refinery sector. Emissions fell while profits
rose over a ten-year period. Ongoing efforts to legitimize companies in
light of changing societal expectations have created an external environment that encourages the development of new technologies that promote cost efficiencies and good environmental performance simultaneously.  Russo and Fouts (1997) argued that industries subject to rapid technological advance are well suited to respond to these changes in the external environment. The findings of this paper suggest that the petroleum refinery sector of the oil and gas industry may be meeting the challenge of the environmental movement.


Environmental performance, environmental accounting, legitimacy theory.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22164/isea.v1i1.8


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