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What is Carbon Accounting? How It Affects Major Corporations

What is Carbon Accounting? How It Affects Major Corporations

If you want to learn more about implementing carbon accounting in your organization, visit our ISSP Certification page and get started with the steps for tracking carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in sustainability training courses.

Greening Corporate America and Wall Street

He who holds the carbon purse strings holds the power.

As the world goes down the green highway of carbon reduction and regulation, considerable capital, time and power will be invested in accounting for carbon emissions. They are the most tradable product in the green economy of the future and investment markets for carbon already exist and flourish.

The Obama Administration is calling for a 17% reduction in carbon emission by 2020. Companies like Coca Cola, Google and Wal-Mart have set strategic-level carbon reduction targets. And most experts expect a “carbon constrained” economy to become a reality in the future.

When Wal-Mart, and their 100,000-plus supplies, start accounting for their carbon emissions, who is going to do the legwork? And how do you measure the stuff anyway? They’re going to need a carbon accountant with a competency for measuring and monitoring carbon emissions. And fast.

To find any promising field follow the venture capital. Venture capitalists have been pouring money into start-ups for the past several years and larger software firms have been acquiring smaller firms at breakneck speeds. Companies like Microsoft and Google are developing their own carbon accounting software.

Whether you agree with climate change and carbon regulation or not, carbon accounting is a cash cow business that more and more people are pursuing.

What Does It Entail?

If a company builds a giant new warehouse, sends their employees jetting across the country on airplanes and adds new vehicles to their fleet, they are emitting carbon. The built environment and transportation are the two largest culprits in corporate carbon emissions.

If a company uses environmentally preferable products when building the new facility (or avoids building it altogether), limits air travel and switches to hybrid or electric vehicles, then they reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon accounting is the process by which a company uses software programs and on-the-ground monitoring to account for the six major greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs, PFCs and sulfur hexafluoride/SF6) as defined under the Kyoto Protocol.

Who Should Learn More About This?

Given the rapidly growing field, anyone interested in taking their career to new heights as a carbon accountant or carbon manager should learn more about the process.

It’s also useful for corporate executives, energy managers, government managers, government vendors, utility executives and entrepreneurs. The government sector and the utility industry already have laws and regulations in place that mandate carbon accounting. These industry professionals benefit directly from increased knowledge. Corporate executives benefit by gaining an edge on the competition that enables them to get ahead of the regulatory curve and become early-adopters of strategies that will set their organization apart from the crowd.

If you want to learn more, we can help provide an overview of:

  • The principles behind carbon accounting and climate change
  • The regulatory mechanisms for different industries, countries and regions
  • The tools available from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • Carbon reduction strategies and successes from Fortune 500 companies

This comprehensive overview is useful for corporate executives and managers, as well as for those interested in pursuing carbon accounting as a profession.

In A Nutshell

Carbon accounting is the catalyst for the growth an entirely new green investment and green accounting industry. Put your business ahead of the coming carbon regulatory curve. It also gives you a competitive edge as you set your business apart from the crowd of climate laggards.

Carbon accounting is the bubble of the future. Without proper and accurate ways to account for carbon emissions, it is impossible to trade them on a carbon market (Wall Street for carbon if you will).

About Jonathan Boggiano

Jon is an innovator, leader, and investor who focuses on forging organizations that positively impact the greater good. His twin passions are building things (products, experiences, and companies) and mentoring professionals.


2 replies on “What is Carbon Accounting? How It Affects Major Corporations”

  1. Carbon Accounting


    As a former CPA and now practicing as a tax attorney in Philadelphia, I found your article really interesting. I was not aware of any of these new developments. But it would appear that perhaps this may be a commonplace area of accounting and perhaps the law as we mover through the new millenium. Just a great wake-up call. Thanks so much for the information. Great presentation.

  2. Carbon Accounting


    Carbon accounting will become more and more important for all organisations once carbon trading becomes maintream. This is likely to happen in the not so distant future and a knowledge of carbon accounting will be essential to meet these new reporting and management requirements.

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