Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The Transparency of Industrial Energy Management
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Previous empirical evidence has elaborated on the reasoning behind corporations voluntarily disclosing information relevant to their environmental and social impacts. However, little research has been done on a subset of environmental performance, namely the consumption, efficiency and management of energy. Energy management is the internal corporate process governing the emission of greenhouse gases in the private sector and is therefore of paramount importance for mitigating climate change. To resolve this lack of knowledge, this thesis builds on past studies to understand the transparency of energy management in carbon intensive industries. The data set chosen for analysis represents 76% of all emissions disclosed by Fortune 500 companies and 5.7% of all anthropogenic emissions. The goal is to provide an overview of the transparency of industrial energy management of carbon intensive firms, based on the how they communicate externally. The thesis also analyses the driving force behind disclosure; whether the companies in question try to legitimize themselves for masking poor performance, or if they perform relatively well and want to signal this in the marketplace. Furthermore, the value of energy management standards such as ISO 50001 is discussed as a means of social coordination in accordance with the theory of ‘New Governance’. Overall it was found that companies in the dataset that emit more absolute carbon were generally more transparent than those who emitted less, while companies that were less carbon intensive tended towards greater transparency. Therefore pre-established theories are not supported when using absolute emissions as a metric for performance. However, when using carbon intensity as a performance metric it shows that those who disclose more information tend to do so to signal their good performance as opposed to legitimizing their poor performance. Standardization of reporting and business practices are seen as tools to help promote transparency while simultaneously improving the performance of carbon intensity, but not necessarily absolute emissions. It is suggested that standardization of energy management can reduce the carbon footprint per firm, but in terms of mitigating climate change it is only appropriate when used in parallel with other policies that place a cap on total emissions. Therefore, social coordination in terms of hierarchies (both international and domestic), market mechanisms and standardization is required in order to curb climate change, and must complement each other accordingly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 82 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 89
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, climate change, transparency, energy management, standards, ISO 50001
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-184600OAI: diva2:566853
Subject / course
Sustainable development
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2012-09-10, Småland, Department of Earth Sciences, Villavägen 16, 75236 Uppsala, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2012-11-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The Transparency of Industrial Energy Management AR Campbell(5123 kB)354 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 5123 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Campbell, Alexander Robert
By organisation
Department of Earth Sciences
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 354 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 411 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link