Discourse and the creation of French green bond legitimacy

Umair Riaz*, Muhammad Al Mahameed, Lisa Gentemann, Theresa Dunne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to explore how organisations use institutional language in Green Bond reports to explain and justify their activities using language that describes and reflects narratives while simultaneously constructing and shaping ideology. The paper mobilises Wodak and Meyer’s critical discourse analysis (CDA) to examine reports and related documentation relating to Green Bonds issued in France.

Design/methodology/approach: The study uses three legitimating discourses: technocratic, environmental and social and business performance to develop a linguistic perspective that permits contributions to existing knowledge in the area.

Findings: The analysis attempts to identify the discursive strategies used to legitimise Green Bond issuance via claims linked to environmental management improvements and business activities’ social impact.

Originality/value: The study contributes to the critical literature on organisational legitimation and responsibility, investigations of Green Bond narratives and an understanding of broader environmental reporting in the financial sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-840
Number of pages21
JournalQualitative Research in Financial Markets
Issue number5
Early online date16 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited. This author's accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com


  • Sustainability
  • Discourse
  • Green bonds
  • Language
  • Legitimacy


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