Purpose: Consumers have increasingly become more concerned about environmental degradation, wastage of critical resources and safety. Therefore, firms are adopting sustainability management practices to attract these conscious consumers. Product responsibility (PR) is an important indicator of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability management. This study examines the relationship between the board- and firm-level characteristics and the PR ratings of firms. Design/methodology/approach: A temporal design with a lag of one year for a sample of 403 firms from the global emerging economies is analyzed for this purpose. Findings: Hierarchical regression analysis shows that total revenue, board size, and board diversity have a positive effect on PR ratings. Research limitations/implications: These findings have implications for policy-level decisions on the composition of boards for the sustainable future of firms. Originality/value: The study is one of the few studies that have looked into the factors affecting the PR ratings, which are an important indicator of the sustainable practices of an organization.