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Gang Nathan Dong

Existing empirical studies that attempt to relate environmental to financial performance using pooled regressions of companies in all sectors have often led to conflicting results and they may well reflect the significant variations in characteristics of different industries. This chapter takes a more focused approach to examine the relationship between sustainability performance and market valuation of firms in a very special sector often associated with a strong social mission. It finds that publicly traded for-profit businesses in the health-care sector are valued at a premium relative to their counterparts in other industries; however, the premium is discounted for firms with higher levels of environmental pollution, suggesting that deviations from the presumed mission would have disastrous consequences on market valuation.