Accounting for carbon

The academic paper ”Accounting for Carbon and reframing disclosures: A business model approach” contributes to the research in accounting and the debate about the nature of carbon footprint reporting for society.

Existing approaches to framing carbon disclosure generate malleable, inconsistent and irreconcilable numbers and narratives. An alternative framing of carbon disclosure is suggested informed by a reporting entities business model and where reporting entities disclose its carbon–material stakeholder relations. This alternative would increase the visibility of carbon generating stakeholder relations and avoid some of the difficulties and arbitrariness associated with framing carbon disclosure around a reporting entity boundary where judgements have to be made about responsibility and operational control.

The paper utilises numbers and narratives to explore changes in carbon footprint using UK national carbon emissions data for the period 1990–2009 and six years (2006–2011) of carbon emissions data for the FTSE 100 group of companies and a case study that focuses on the UK mixed grocery sector.

The paper published Accounting Forum 2014 was written together with Professor Colin Haslam, Dr Glen Lehman, Dr John Malamatenios and John Butlin. Read more about the paper at Accounting Forum – Accounting for carbon. c