Accounting for carbon and reframing disclosure: A business model approach

Colin Haslam, John Butlin, Tord Andersson, John Malamatenios, Glen Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
713 Downloads (Pure)


The paper contributes to the research in accounting and the debate about the nature of carbon footprint reporting for society. 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. Our argument is that existing approaches to framing carbon disclosure generate malleable, inconsistent and irreconcilable numbers and narratives. In this paper we argue for an alternative framing of carbon disclosure informed by a reporting entities business model. Specifically, we suggest, that a reporting entity disclose its carbon–material stakeholder relations. This alternative, we argue, 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-211
Number of pages12
JournalAccounting Forum
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2014


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