An Empirical Examination of Formal and Informal Institutional Factors’ Influence on Global Food Industry Sustainability Engagement

Katherine M. Yamamoto, George Fox University


This study contributes to the sustainability literature through empirical investigation on how both formal and informal institutional factors influence the level of global food industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) engagement (also known as sustainability engagement). This study proposed six hypotheses to be tested for formal and informal institutional factors’ influence on sustainability engagement with simple and multiple linear regression analyses, correlation analysis to examine the relationship between sustainability engagement and individual countries’ institutional factors. Six institutional factors the author studied include Yale’s World Economic Forum’s environmental performance index; the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation’s food loss and food waste index, sustainable agriculture index, and nutrition challenge index; and Hofstede’s long-term orientation index and uncertainty avoidance index. Furthermore, the study proposed an additional hypothesis to compare the mean sustainability engagement levels of the four GICS food industries (restaurants, food retailing, beverages, and food products) using one-way ANOVA and post-hoc analyses. This study utilized the Bloomberg archival environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data categorized by the nine global industry classification standard (GICS) food sub-industries that are the four GICS food industries, which represent the global food industry.