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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2010

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…

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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

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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
Publication date: 19 September 2016

Chi-Kuang Chen, Madi Kamba, An-Jin Shie and Jens Dahlgaard

The purpose of this paper is to develop a greenhouse gas (GHG) management model for mitigating GHG emission. GHG emission by way of human activities is causing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a greenhouse gas (GHG) management model for mitigating GHG emission. GHG emission by way of human activities is causing catastrophic effects on the natural environment in the form of climate change and global warming. GHG management of different products, bodies and processes is going on worldwide, expressed through carbon footprints by using product life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA is a useful approach, but it only looks at the micro level of cause-effect scenarios rather than the macro level cause-effect scenarios of GHG emission. Therefore, a system to scrutinize underlined assumptions and values of such policies/strategies is an urgent necessity.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the double-loop learning concept, which was proposed by Argyris in 1976, to develop a triple cause-effect model for the management of GHG emission. The proposed model has a knowledge system that introduces the learning loop of GHG emission and environmental impact management.

Findings

A case study is conducted to demonstrate how the proposed triple cause-effect model is operationalized. The ideas and benefits of the proposed model are further discussed.

Originality/value

A triple cause-effect model for the measurement and analysis of GHG emission is proposed in this paper to complement GHG management by using only product LCA. This paper seeks to show that GHG management should look at not only a single tree (product LCA approach) but also the whole forest (the proposed model).

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International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2009

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.

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

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2021

Anca Băndoi, Claudiu George Bocean, Aurelia Florea, Lucian Mandache, Cătălina Soriana Sitnikov and Anca Antoaneta Vărzaru

Global warming is a process that takes place 11,500 years after the end of the last Ice Age. The main identified reason is the increased emissions of greenhouse gases…

Abstract

Global warming is a process that takes place 11,500 years after the end of the last Ice Age. The main identified reason is the increased emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Since the nineteenth century, GHG evolution has recorded a quantum leap from the previous linear development. Human is the main factor behind this evolution, through industrialization and the exponential increase of population. Based on these, the chapter’s primary goal was to highlight an original method of predicting the future evolution of GHG emissions in the domains of Energy (including Transportation), Industry Processes and Product Use, Agriculture, and Waste Management. The novelty of the research consisted of testing several variants of functions (power, exponential, inverse trigonometric) to identify, from a group of variants. This optimal function would generate those predictions, which are closest to the real values. The causes that create GHG emissions in each of the four domains were the foundation for the analysis. This chapter focuses on two main subjects: first, the identification of a smooth function to predict the evolution of GHG emissions, and second, the function’s use to estimate the projections of GHG emissions in the coming years for the four domains: Energy (including Transportation), Industry Processes and Product Use, Agriculture, and Waste Management. An observation was that the weights of these four domains remain relatively the same despite the reductions in the total GHG emissions.

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Contemporary Issues in Social Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-931-3

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Book part
Publication date: 31 December 2010

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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2020

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Breeda Comyns and Frank Figge

The purpose of this paper is to explore the evolution of greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting quality and to determine whether the evolution of reporting quality is linked with…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the evolution of greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting quality and to determine whether the evolution of reporting quality is linked with the type of information reported based on the “search”, “experience”, and “credence” typology.

Design/methodology/approach

The method is based on the content analysis of GHG reporting in 245 sustainability reports by 45 oil and gas companies between 1998 and 2010. The content analysis disclosure index developed links GHG reporting requirements with seven quality dimensions. The information associated with each item on the content analysis index is classified as “search”, “experience” or “credence”. Statistical analysis is used to determine whether any significant change occurred in either overall GHG reporting quality or in the quality of reporting in any of the individual dimensions of quality over the period of the study.

Findings

GHG reporting quality has not improved significantly between 1998 and 2010. The quality of reporting is not the same in each of the seven dimensions of quality and this can be explained by information typology.

Originality/value

This paper provides the first longitudinal analysis of the quality of GHG reporting. The methodology developed advances current measures of reporting quality by linking reporting requirements with particular quality dimensions. The results show that the type of information is important in terms of quality evolution and that this can dictate the measures required to improve quality.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Mia Parvez, James Hazelton and James Guthrie

Cities are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper aims to explore the quality of GHG disclosures by cities via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP…

Abstract

Purpose

Cities are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper aims to explore the quality of GHG disclosures by cities via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and compares them with the expectations of users.

Design/methodology/approach

The expectation gap framework is used to examine the GHG disclosure quality of 42 cities. User expectations are determined via a literature review and CDP documentation. City disclosures are reviewed using content analysis.

Findings

GHG information at the city level is outdated, incomplete, inconsistent, inaccurate and incomparable and, therefore, to meet user expectations, improvement is needed.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have implications for policymakers, stakeholders and managers. Guidelines are required for better disclosure of GHG information relating to cities, and stakeholders need to develop better skills to understand emissions information. Managers have a responsibility to measure, disclose and mitigate GHG emissions to meet the expectations of stakeholders.

Originality/value

Prior studies focus on GHG disclosures via the CDP by corporations. This is the first accounting study to examine GHG disclosures by cities via the CDP. The expectation gap framework is a novel approach to sustainability disclosure research.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Andrea Liesen, Andreas G. Hoepner, Dennis M. Patten and Frank Figge

The purpose of this paper is to seek to shed light on the practice of incomplete corporate disclosure of quantitative Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and investigates…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to seek to shed light on the practice of incomplete corporate disclosure of quantitative Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and investigates whether external stakeholder pressure influences the existence, and separately, the completeness of voluntary GHG emissions disclosures by 431 European companies.

Design/methodology/approach

A classification of reporting completeness is developed with respect to the scope, type and reporting boundary of GHG emissions based on the guidelines of the GHG Protocol, Global Reporting Initiative and the Carbon Disclosure Project. Logistic regression analysis is applied to examine whether proxies for exposure to climate change concerns from different stakeholder groups influence the existence and/or completeness of quantitative GHG emissions disclosure.

Findings

From 2005 to 2009, on average only 15 percent of companies that disclose GHG emissions report them in a manner that the authors consider complete. Results of regression analyses suggest that external stakeholder pressure is a determinant of the existence but not the completeness of emissions disclosure. Findings are consistent with stakeholder theory arguments that companies respond to external stakeholder pressure to report GHG emissions, but also with legitimacy theory claims that firms can use carbon disclosure, in this case the incomplete reporting of emissions, as a symbolic act to address legitimacy exposures.

Practical implications

Bringing corporate GHG emissions disclosure in line with recommended guidelines will require either more direct stakeholder pressure or, perhaps, a mandated disclosure regime. In the meantime, users of the data will need to carefully consider the relevance of the reported data and develop the necessary competencies to detect and control for its incompleteness. A more troubling concern is that stakeholders may instead grow to accept less than complete disclosure.

Originality/value

The paper represents the first large-scale empirical study into the completeness of companies’ disclosure of quantitative GHG emissions and is the first to analyze these disclosures in the context of stakeholder pressure and its relation to legitimation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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