ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

Environmental accountability

The carbon we're not counting

The carbon we’re not counting discusses three approaches for tackling Scope 3 emissions: The Control, Influence and Engaged Approaches.

The carbon we’re not counting: accounting for Scope 3 carbon emissions


This report on environmental accountability recommends action to encourage widespread use of Scope 3 reporting.

Despite widespread concern about climate change, governments have not managed to negotiate international binding agreements on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Consequently, businesses and markets have become increasingly important in initiating the changes that could lead to reduced emissions.

To manage GHG emissions, companies must measure and report them. Accountants have major roles to play in this GHG reporting. However, many organisations only report on direct emissions (Scope 1) and emissions from generating purchased electricity (Scope 2). Hardly any measure Scope 3, which encompasses a much wider range of emissions associated with a product’s production, distribution, use and disposal.


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Published: 1 Apr 2011