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Sustainable Business

Sustainable Business

Theory and Practice of Business under Sustainability Principles

Edited by Geoffrey Wells

Recent surveys of international CEOs confirm that companies increasingly see sustainability as critical to their business strategy. The rigorous academic framework for the field of sustainable business required to respond to this need is now emerging. This book presents important new work in the theory of the sustainable firm, in the application of sustainability principles to key management disciplines, in sustainable business in practice, and in the international challenges that are critical to sustainability demands.

Chapter 5: Carbon accounting and carbon auditing for business

Janek Ratnatunga

Subjects: business and management, corporate social responsibility, strategic management, economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, corporate social responsibility, environmental economics


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was first agreed in 1992 by most developed countries and was designed to impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions and thus minimize the adverse effects of climate change. The third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC took place in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, resulting in the Kyoto Protocol. This working agreement of the signatories committed developed countries to reduce their collective emissions of six greenhouse gases by at least 5 per cent of 1990 levels by 2012. The Kyoto Agreement became legally binding on 16 February 2005 when 132 signatories agreed to strive to decrease CO2 emissions accounting for an estimated 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions (Dunn, 2007). The USA and Australia were the only two major carbon emitting countries that did not initially ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Some developing countries, such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil have ratified the protocol but are not required to reduce CO2 emissions under the present agreement despite their large populations. The Kyoto Protocol provided no model framework to be mandatorily applied by its participating countries.

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