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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Choi Ieng Chu, Bikram Chatterjee and Alistair Brown

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors driving greenhouse gas reporting by Chinese companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors driving greenhouse gas reporting by Chinese companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis of annual reports and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports for the year 2010 of the top 100 A‐share companies listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange was conducted to investigate the extent of greenhouse gas reporting. Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the factors driving these companies' greenhouse gas reporting.

Findings

It was found that most Chinese companies reported neutral and good news. The results also indicate larger companies operating in an industry which has higher level of carbon dioxide emissions tend to have higher levels of greenhouse gas disclosures, consistent with the expectation of legitimacy theory. However, profitability and overseas listing were not significantly related to greenhouse gas reporting. This is consistent with the findings of previous literature. Finally, contrary to expectations, state‐owned companies report less greenhouse gas information than private companies.

Originality/value

The paper contributes towards theory development by testing legitimacy theory in the context of greenhouse gas reporting by Chinese companies and contributes to existing literature on greenhouse gas reporting by focussing on the large emerging economy of China. The practical contribution of the paper rests in the area of accounting practice. The results outline the dearth in greenhouse gas reporting by Chinese companies, suggesting there needs to be future development of accounting standards in this area.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2010

Anna Young

The purpose of this paper is to raise a selection of issues and questions that have begun to face academics and business professionals in the technically complex field of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to raise a selection of issues and questions that have begun to face academics and business professionals in the technically complex field of greenhouse gas accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper drew on accounting, audit and assurance‐based field work whilst the author was employed with a “Big 4” accounting firm and undertaken with a range of Australian companies preparing to report greenhouse gas emissions to the Australian Government for the first time during June‐October 2009. The issues discussed in this paper include: determination of organisational boundaries and ownership of greenhouse emissions; determination of operational boundaries and how to account for the greenhouse emissions of contractors; and challenges of measuring and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions in the underground coal mining industry.

Findings

This paper highlights the need for further research into greenhouse gas accounting methodologies.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is primarily a news piece with a focus on three of a possible multitude of issues. The intention is not to provide a complete review of the growing academic literature in the greenhouse gas accounting field, nor to elaborate on the entire array of challenges presented by greenhouse gas accounting for a range of industries. Further, the paper does not intend to discuss climate change science or emissions trading in any detail.

Originality/value

Whilst the focus is on the Australian experience, the questions raised may be of interest to a more international audience as attempts are made to put a national framework using local measures on a global problem are commonplace.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Barrie Pittock and G. Dale Hess

Sustainable atmospheric management today involves a complex set of issues arising from the deliberate or inadvertent use of the atmosphere as a repository for waste…

Abstract

Sustainable atmospheric management today involves a complex set of issues arising from the deliberate or inadvertent use of the atmosphere as a repository for waste products arising from human activities. Urban pollution affects human health, building materials and vegetation. Acidic emissions and excess nutrients produce both acid rain and dry deposition that affect terrestrial, freshwater and ocean chemistry and ecosystems. The production and effects of atmospheric pollution can transcend national boundaries and thus mitigation will require cooperation on regional and global levels, as well as local action. Global pollution includes greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles which are changing the global climate and affecting human health. While technological solutions will play an important part, the large reductions in emissions necessary to achieve sustainability will involve adopting lifestyles that conserve energy and minimise pollution. These concerns were foreshadowed in the writings of Fritz Schumacher.

Details

Extending Schumacher's Concept of Total Accounting and Accountability into the 21st Century
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-301-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Wendy Green and Qixin Li

This paper aims to examine whether an expectation gap exists between different stakeholders (i.e. emissions preparers, emissions assurers and shareholders) in relation to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether an expectation gap exists between different stakeholders (i.e. emissions preparers, emissions assurers and shareholders) in relation to the assurance of greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the paper seeks to explore whether stakeholder expectations are influenced by the uncertainties inherent in the assurance engagement for different industry sectors (i.e. greenhouse gas emitter or greenhouse gas user entities).

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental survey was used to address the stated aims. Three stakeholder groups: shareholders, greenhouse gas emissions preparers and assurers, completed a survey based on the greenhouse gas emissions assurance for either an emitter or user entity.

Findings

The results provide support for the existence of an expectation gap in the emission assurance setting. Fundamental differences were identified between the stakeholder groups in relation to the responsibilities of the assurer and management; as well as the reliability and decision usefulness of the emissions statement. Moreover, the extent of the gap was found to differ between user entity engagements and emitter entity engagements.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights the need for the assurance services profession and assurance standard setters to consider mechanisms to enhance the effectiveness of communicating the assurance function in this setting in order to enhance the credibility and social value of emissions assurance.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to examine the expectation gap in the greenhouse gas emissions assurance context. It thereby also contributes to the literature on the expectation gap in the assurance of non‐financial information. Moreover, the research findings provide standard setters with unique insights into areas to consider as they work toward the development of an international assurance standard for greenhouse gas emissions statements.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Malcolm R. Hill

This paper focuses on the terms of reference of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was drafted to support…

Abstract

This paper focuses on the terms of reference of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was drafted to support environmental sustainability through the mitigation of global warming. The paper provides information on the main features of the protocol, especially the commercial incentives for companies in industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Particular attention is paid to the role of the operations manager and strategist in the selection of processes, plant and equipment to meet these commercial incentives, and the location of industrial facilities under conditions of political and economic uncertainty. The paper demonstrates the importance of the political and economic factors influencing environmental investment decisions, particularly those factors which often lie outside the usual terms of reference of operations managers.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Haakon Lindstad, Bjørn E. Asbjørnslett and Jan Tore Pedersen

The environmental consequences of international trade and transport have gained importance as a result of the current climate debate. Products are increasingly being…

Abstract

The environmental consequences of international trade and transport have gained importance as a result of the current climate debate. Products are increasingly being produced in one part of the world, transported to another country and then redistributed to their final country of consumption. Since more than 80% of world trade tonnage measured in metric tons is carried by seagoing vessels, maritime transport will continue to be a core part of most supply chains while rail and road mainly are used for hinterland transport and to and from ports. This chapter presents a methodology for assessing the environmental impact of maritime transport and transport in general, with a specific focus on greenhouse gas emissions. The first section gives an introduction to why Green Maritime Logistics and Sustainability are important topics, while the second offers a framework for measuring greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for transport systems. The third section presents a model for measuring seaborne transport and its greenhouse gas emissions, and in the fourth section we compare greenhouse gas emissions from different modes of transportation.

Details

Maritime Logistics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-340-8

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Urban Transport and the Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-08-047029-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1993

Udo E. Simonis

The inherent linkages between climate and the habitability of theEarth are increasingly well recognized, and a convention could help toensure that conserving the…

Abstract

The inherent linkages between climate and the habitability of the Earth are increasingly well recognized, and a convention could help to ensure that conserving the environment and developing the economy in the future must go hand in hand. Due to growing environmental concern, the United Nations General Assembly has set into motion an international negotiating process for a framework convention on climate change. One of the specific tasks in these negotiations is how to share the duties in reducing climate relevant gases, particularly carbon dioxide, between the industrial and the developing countries. The respective proposals could be among the most far‐reaching ever for socio‐economic development, indeed for global security and survival itself. While the negotiations will be about climate and protection of the atmosphere, they could lead to fundamental changes in energy, forestry, transport and technology policies, and to future development pathways with low greenhouse gas emissions. Addresses some of these aspects of a climate convention and a respective CO⊂2‐agreement, the Houston Protocol.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2012

Neungruthai Nickie Petcharat and Joseph M. Mula

The purpose of this paper is to identify an effective management accounting system using sustainability accounting concepts for environmental and social cost measurement…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify an effective management accounting system using sustainability accounting concepts for environmental and social cost measurement to add shareholder value. Suggestions from literature show that there is a need for a conceptual framework for environmental management accounting (EMA) and social management accounting (SMA) practices to be developed. This study therefore designs a conceptual model for a sustainability management accounting system (SMAS) combining EMA and SMA practices to create more accurate cost information of environment and social impacts. A SMAS also expands on activity based costing (ABC) application to help in the cost analysis and allocation of environment and social impacts. By applying a SMAS, companies generate more accurate cost information thus fully costing products for internal management decision and reporting purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used mixed methods combining quantitative and qualitative research approaches to collect and analyse data to triangulate findings.

Findings

The results of the study indicate that companies are intending to change to new management accounting practices while looking for ways to improve cost identification and measurement of environment and social impacts.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to Australian non‐service manufacturing companies. As a SMAS is a new holistic management accounting approach, it provides companies with a way to create economic, environmental, and social value both immediately and in the future.

Originality/value

This study designs a SMAS conceptual model to contribute to the literature. By having a SMAS, companies could create more accurate cost information while fully costing products to effectively enhance management decisions on cost savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Sumit Lodhia and Nigel Martin

This paper aimed to explore the submissions made to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) policy paper by corporations and other stakeholders. It also sought…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aimed to explore the submissions made to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) policy paper by corporations and other stakeholders. It also sought to establish whether broader climate change issues were addressed in the context of the submissions.

Design/methodology/approach

The agenda‐setting framework was utilised to provide the theoretical perspective for the study. This research applied a combination of concept analysis and mapping, and content analysis, of the submissions using the Leximancer software tool.

Findings

The study found a divergence in the responses of corporations and other stakeholders, with the former focusing primarily on the NGER policy paper, while the latter presented significant concerns over carbon pollution and climate change, an issue that was not the primary concern of the policy paper. Moreover, corporations also acknowledged the close link between the NGER process and a future emissions trading scheme, and expressed concerns over the development of a mechanism that would put a price on carbon.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the limited literature on carbon accounting and reporting in relation to both the local and international context. Moreover, an agenda‐setting perspective provided a suitable lens for understanding the NGER submissions process and its role within the broader climate change policy area in Australia.

Practical implications

Policies are influenced by key players and their familiarity with these policies could lead to successful implementation. The establishment of the NGER legislation was deemed successful, despite concerns raised in the submissions. This was because the policy used corporate reporting as a means of assessing accountability for carbon emissions. This finding has implications for other nations seeking to develop mandatory carbon reporting.

Originality/value

The paper has built further explanatory potential of the agenda‐setting framework, provides direct evidence in relation to stakeholder submissions to prospective environmental legislation, and adds to the use of combination methods that can be utilised for effectively analysing stakeholder submissions on major policy questions and issues.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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