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Greenhouse gas emissions disclosure by cities: the expectation gap

Greenhouse gas emissions disclosure by cities: the expectation gap Cities are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper aims to explore the quality of GHG disclosures by cities via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and compares them with the expectations of users.Design/methodology/approachThe expectation gap framework is used to examine the GHG disclosure quality of 42 cities. User expectations are determined via a literature review and CDP documentation. City disclosures are reviewed using content analysis.FindingsGHG information at the city level is outdated, incomplete, inconsistent, inaccurate and incomparable and, therefore, to meet user expectations, improvement is needed.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings have implications for policymakers, stakeholders and managers. Guidelines are required for better disclosure of GHG information relating to cities, and stakeholders need to develop better skills to understand emissions information. Managers have a responsibility to measure, disclose and mitigate GHG emissions to meet the expectations of stakeholders.Originality/valuePrior studies focus on GHG disclosures via the CDP by corporations. This is the first accounting study to examine GHG disclosures by cities via the CDP. The expectation gap framework is a novel approach to sustainability disclosure research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Greenhouse gas emissions disclosure by cities: the expectation gap

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-11-2017-0138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cities are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This paper aims to explore the quality of GHG disclosures by cities via the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and compares them with the expectations of users.Design/methodology/approachThe expectation gap framework is used to examine the GHG disclosure quality of 42 cities. User expectations are determined via a literature review and CDP documentation. City disclosures are reviewed using content analysis.FindingsGHG information at the city level is outdated, incomplete, inconsistent, inaccurate and incomparable and, therefore, to meet user expectations, improvement is needed.Research limitations/implicationsThe findings have implications for policymakers, stakeholders and managers. Guidelines are required for better disclosure of GHG information relating to cities, and stakeholders need to develop better skills to understand emissions information. Managers have a responsibility to measure, disclose and mitigate GHG emissions to meet the expectations of stakeholders.Originality/valuePrior studies focus on GHG disclosures via the CDP by corporations. This is the first accounting study to examine GHG disclosures by cities via the CDP. The expectation gap framework is a novel approach to sustainability disclosure research.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 18, 2019

Keywords: Disclosure; Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP); Carbon; Emission; City; GHG; Expectation gap

References