This paper forms part of the social and environmental accounting literature. The purpose of this paper is to study how the strategy of development and dissemination of a carbon accounting tool by a public organisation affects the actions of companies.Design/methodology/approachIt is based on the Foucaldian concept of a strategic dispositif whose components and evolution over time will be analysed. The methodology will be based on a case study of ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, through the preparation and dissemination of Bilan Carbone® – the French greenhouse gas accounting tool – between 2000 and 2017.FindingsThe results highlight the specific features of the dispositif formed by carbon accounting in France, namely, the integration of small companies, use of the tool to directly support actions and financial independence.Practical implicationsThe theoretical contribution of this work consists in showing the benefits of the concept of a strategic dispositif to understand the action of companies in terms of the transition towards low-carbon strategies.Social implicationsIts empirical contribution lies in the emphasis placed on the specific role of public authorities in tackling climate change within the sphere of carbon accounting methodologies largely dominated by private organisations.Originality/valueThe theoretical contribution of this work consists in showing the benefits of the concept of a strategic dispositif to understand the action of companies in terms of the transition towards low-carbon strategies.
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 23, 2020
Keywords: Climate change; Public policy; Carbon accounting; dispositif