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The emergence of carbon accounting: how instruments and dispositifs interact in new practice creation

Abstract : This article forms part of the social and environmental accounting literature. Its objective is to study how the strategy of development and dissemination of a carbon accounting tool by a public organisation affects the actions of companies. It is based on the notion of a strategic dispositif (a Foucaldian concept) whose components and evolution over time will be analysed. The methodology is 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. The 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. The 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. Its 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.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 1:48:09 PM
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Morgane Le Breton, Franck Aggeri. The emergence of carbon accounting: how instruments and dispositifs interact in new practice creation. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 2020, 11 (3), pp.505-522. ⟨10.1108/SAMPJ-09-2017-0111⟩. ⟨hal-01864695⟩



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