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Article

Eric G. Olson

It is clear that the trend toward measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a global scale is not slowing, even though different countries and geographic…

Abstract

Purpose

It is clear that the trend toward measuring and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a global scale is not slowing, even though different countries and geographic regions are approaching the issue with different points of view and different levels of vigor. Along with an increase in measuring and managing GHG emissions, enterprises around the world should expect to see a higher level of independent assurance and audit reporting needed. The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the challenges and opportunities that accompany GHG emissions accounting and auditing, as well as the supply chain and operational dependencies that are different from traditional financial auditing.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the challenges and opportunities from measuring and auditing GHG emissions, and contrasts audits of sustainability information with more traditional financial auditing. It also explores some of the issues in supply chain and operational dependencies that are important in measuring and auditing GHG emissions and are different from more traditional accounting practices.

Findings

With the importance of processes to independently audit GHG emissions and natural resource consumption expected to grow in the future, it is important to understand how past experience with financial accounting and auditing can play a role in shaping the future for environmental stewardship. This paper shows that there are a number of key differences between financial and carbon auditing, which must be considered as enterprises begin to consider how to best support increasingly important sustainability reporting. As more publicly traded firms voluntarily issue sustainability reports and new legislation drives a greater need for standardized carbon accounting, so too will the need for auditing GHG emissions grow. This paper explains that GHG auditing will require cross‐functional skills with operational and process knowledge, accounting capabilities and an understanding of how operational data correlates with estimates for GHG emissions.

Originality/value

Much existing work addresses why, where, how, and who should be measuring and managing GHG emissions, but little attention is being given to the unique challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve reporting transparency. Independent auditing of GHG emissions has maintained a low profile while reporting is voluntary and standards are not fully agreed upon. However, with the possibility of legally binding legislation on the horizon, enterprises that are prepared to audit their GHG emissions and resolve issues early will be well positioned from both a compliance and market‐competition perspective.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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Article

Nonna Martinov‐Bennie

Global climate change has become a major societal issue providing the impetus for governments to legislate policy in order to manage and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG

Abstract

Purpose

Global climate change has become a major societal issue providing the impetus for governments to legislate policy in order to manage and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To assess whether the use of biomass can reduce GHG emissions requires accounting, reporting and assurance methods and procedures. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate key challenges of GHG reporting and assurance with the example of the Australian framework.

Design/methodology/approach

This viewpoint, discussing GHG emissions reporting and assurance, critically analyses some of the key issues arising in practice, including the current state of organizations' systems and controls, the changing nature of governance structures as well as measurement challenges being experienced by companies regarding GHG reporting.

Findings

The paper finds that more rigorous governance frameworks and management systems are likely to evolve around GHG reporting given the recent introduction of the carbon pricing mechanism and its nexus to companies' financial performance as well as increased risks associated with inaccurate reporting.

Practical implications

The paper contains an overview of the current regulatory environment and key issues surrounding GHG reporting and assurance.

Originality/value

The management of GHG‐related issues has significant implications for organisations. The paper provides both practitioner and academic perspectives on the current issues and challenges within the GHG reporting context.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article

Fabricia Silva Rosa, Alessio Bartolacelli and Rogério J. Lunkes

The purpose of this study is to analyze the simultaneous effect of the regulation (non-financial information (NFI)- 254/2016) and the factors driving in (no)environmental…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the simultaneous effect of the regulation (non-financial information (NFI)- 254/2016) and the factors driving in (no)environmental disclosure (ED) and the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) of Italian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is supported by the theory of legitimacy. The level of ED regarding GHG was measured for 125 Italian companies in 2018, the companies were selected from Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa di Itália, because those included in the list of companies in the Dichiarazione Non Finanziaria all date back to December 31, 2019. Using a scoring system and content analysis of their annual reports, through 20 criteria supported by the literature. The study explores variables of the current legislation, the effect of disclosure and no disclosure, and the influence of the shareholding structure, managerial shareholding, economic power and industry classification at the ED level. The analyses were carried out using structural equation modeling because the authors seek to understand the cause-effect relationship between aspects of legitimacy with dissemination on GHG emissions.

Findings

This study finds that NFI.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to understanding the effect of legislation on the level of mandatory disclosure in non-financial reports, and the Paris Agreement (voluntary) disclosure on GHG, so the choice of companies analyzed and the study variables are limited to companies that are required to publish non-financial reports, and the variables considered in the study take into account normative aspects and voluntary guidelines of the Paris Agreement. As implications, the results show that adherence to the Paris Agreement contributes more to the quality and comprehensiveness of the information than adherence to the European and Italian legislation (mandatory), which reinforces the understanding that even if the legislation has advanced, it is still soft regarding the quality of information on companies' practices regarding the reduction of GHG emissions.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that non-financial reports are being adopted by listed Italian companies, however, there is variation in the scope of the reports, especially on GHG. For companies listed in Italy, non-financial reports comply with Italian Legislative Decree 254/2016 (mandatory), however, the quality of information on GHG is improved when companies' reports have greater adherence to the Paris Agreement (voluntary).

Social implications

The results can encourage companies listed in Italy to incorporate NFI in annual reports based on the Paris Agreement, the global pact to reduce GHG emissions, thus building confidence in the capital market and society in general.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the literature on non-financial reporting, the level of compliance with legal basis and international best practices, such as the Paris Agreement, providing empirical analyzes of non-financial disclosures in publicly available reports in Italy.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

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Book part

Martin Freedman and Bikki Jaggi

This chapter evaluates whether disclosures on global warming by companies from the European Union are more extensive than disclosures by Japanese and Canadian firms. The…

Abstract

This chapter evaluates whether disclosures on global warming by companies from the European Union are more extensive than disclosures by Japanese and Canadian firms. The study is based on disclosures made on websites, annual reports, social, environmental and sustainability reports and on a questionnaire developed by the Carbon Disclosure Project by 282 of the largest firms from these countries. Content analysis is utilized to asses their disclosures. The results indicate that the EU firms make significantly less global warming disclosures than firms from Japan or Canada. We also find no relation between the changes in carbon emissions and global warming disclosures indicating that these disclosures do not truly reflect emission performance. These findings suggest that the EU requirements of reducing GHG pollution have not improved GHG disclosures. Regulatory disclosure requirements may be the answer to improve disclosures.

Details

Sustainability, Environmental Performance and Disclosures
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-765-3

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Book part

Larry Dwyer, Ray Spurr, Peter Forsyth and Serajul Hoque

This chapter explores the issues in estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the tourism industry and related activities in Australia. A production-based…

Abstract

This chapter explores the issues in estimating the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the tourism industry and related activities in Australia. A production-based approach is employed and its rationale is explained. The scope of tourism consists of the economic activities of tourism-characteristic and tourism-connected sectors as defined in the Australian Tourism Satellite Account (TSA). The GHG emissions have been estimated for 2003–04, the latest year for which detailed industry GHG emissions data are available in a form suitable for this type of estimate. Tourism's GHG emissions are compared with other industries in the Australian economy. The policy implications of the results are discussed. It should be possible to adopt a broadly similar method for any destination with a TSA, enabling tourism stakeholders to play an informed role in assessing appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for their destination.

Details

Tourism and the Implications of Climate Change: Issues and Actions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-620-2

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Optimal Growth Economics: An Investigation of the Contemporary Issues and the Prospect for Sustainable Growth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44450-860-7

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Article

Jiansheng Qu, Jinyu Han, Lina Liu, Li Xu, Hengji Li and Yujie Fan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the heterogeneity and correlations of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among provinces in China, and then policy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the heterogeneity and correlations of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among provinces in China, and then policy implications are proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

After agricultural GHG accounting and a pre-analysis of inter-provincial heterogeneity, improved gravity model and the Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods are introduced to construct the network, being carried out from three aspects of the whole network, individual provincial characteristics and cluster analysis.

Findings

(1) There are significant regional variations in agricultural GHG scale among provinces owing to the layout of agricultural production, and the temporal trends show that the direction and speed of agricultural GHG scale change vary among provinces; (2) In terms of inter-provincial correlations, there exists a complex spatial network of agricultural GHG among provinces, which tends to be more complex, intensive and stable, while the status of the provinces in the network also has gradually become more balanced. All provinces played their respective roles in the four clusters of the network with agricultural layout and comparative advantages, and the distribution has continuously optimized.

Practical implications

The inter-provincial network characteristics of agricultural GHG emissions and its evolution have practical implications for differentiated and coordinated agricultural GHG reduction policies at the provincial levels.

Originality/value

This paper innovatively study inter-provincial agricultural GHG correlations in China with the SNA methods used to study economic and social connections in the past. There is some originality in the introduction of network theory and application of the SNA methods, which can provide some reference for researches in similar fields.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

Keywords

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Article

Masato Kawanishi and Ryo Fujikura

By applying a framework for implementation analysis, the authors aim to examine the evolution of Japan's national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, assess the extent to…

Abstract

Purpose

By applying a framework for implementation analysis, the authors aim to examine the evolution of Japan's national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, assess the extent to which each condition for effective implementation has been met and identify factors that may contribute to transparency-related capacity building in developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The case description was based on interviews and document reviews. The authors coded the collected data into the variables as identified under the framework for implementation analysis, and they evaluated the effectiveness according to the code of assessment.

Findings

First, this study finds that the development of the endogenous research base can contribute to the continuous improvement in GHG inventories. Second, it highlights the boundary-spanning role played by a private-sector actor's facilitation of interactions among relevant actors. Third, the assessment revealed the criticality of the causal linkage, pointing to the importance of a commitment to emission reductions as a strong driver for the quality improvement of GHG inventories. Lastly, this study indicates a lack of data compatibility, which may potentially hinder effective policy implementation, suggesting the importance of integrated development of the national statistics.

Originality/value

The primary contribution of this paper lies in its use of a framework for implementation analysis, creating new possibilities for both practitioners and researchers. The present study pays attention to the fact that the national GHG inventory preparation, although a highly technical task, is crucial to each country's climate change policy implementation, an aspect that has not been focused on by prior studies.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article

Wayne Fu and Hung-Chung Su

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of three strategic environmental options on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Namely, we examine the effects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of three strategic environmental options on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Namely, we examine the effects of pollution prevention and waste management (PPWM) practices, green supply chain (GSC) practices, and outsourcing on reducing local and supply chain GHG emissions.

Design/methodology/approach

Using ASSET4 and deploying first-differencing fixed-effects panel data models, the study conducts a large-scale empirical examination on the effects of these focal strategic environmental options on GHG emissions.

Findings

This study finds that PPWM practices reduce local GHG emissions and that GSC practices reduce supply chain GHG emissions. The results also show that outsourcing does not reduce local GHG emissions and has an adverse effect on supply chain GHG emissions.

Practical implications

The study findings indicate that environmental practices are effective in reducing GHG emissions. However, they are effective only in their corresponding domain. Further, outsourcing is not a viable strategic option, and managers should be mindful of its undesired environmental consequences.

Originality/value

Firms undertake strategic environmental options, such as implementing environmental practices and reallocating production activities, to improve their environmental performance. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of these options on reducing GHG emissions has not been thoroughly examined.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article

Vincent Onyango and Neil Burford

The purpose of the study is to assess performance of local level planning policies that required new buildings to avoid a specified and rising proportion of projected…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to assess performance of local level planning policies that required new buildings to avoid a specified and rising proportion of projected greenhouse gases (GHGs) from their use; it is calculated based on the approved design and plans for the specific development and through the installation and operation of low and zero-carbon generating technologies (LZCGTs).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were extracted from a random sample of 911 new builds from 403 planning applications and related documents, across five Scottish local planning authorities (LPAs) who adopted GHG reduction policies. The data included GHG reduction, LZCGT installation and performance, use of plan designs to meet GHG reductions and exemptions from the GHG policies. Descriptive statistics using SPSS software, complimented by qualitative responses from questionnaires, helped to explain observed performance.

Findings

The policies performed poorly, at the level of delivering low-hanging fruits, with significant room for improvement. Design-led opportunities in the GHG policies were not actively pursued; most LZCGT installation was exempted from GHG policies and the policies were poor in targeting the relationship between building unit size, GHG emission and reductions.

Research limitations/implications

The source documents, where the data came from, had varying quality and completeness and some LPAs are over-represented in the data. The study applied limited criteria to evaluate policy performance.

Practical implications

Areas for policymakers to further focus on when exploring how to enhance role and performance of LZCGT are highlighted, including practical suggestions.

Originality/value

One of the few studies assessing policy performance and distilling lessons, from early adopters of GHG policies at local level planning, offer performance benchmarks and raise points of concern for policymakers.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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