Examining Best Practice Carbon Management within Australian organisations

11 Jun 2020

JOURNAL ARTICLE | Belinda Ward and Andrew Grifiths

pollution being emitted by an industrial building
Image by marcinjozwiak from Pixabay

Adapting to climate change must be considered the salient business issue of this decade for emission intensive organisations. As countries take stock of the global commitments towards the agreed goals of the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21 or the Paris Agreement) pressure will grow for nations to act on the agreed large scale global reforms (UNFCCC 2017). The five-year reviews set within the agreement will continue this focus with governments potentially introducing measures to promote organisational change if they are to meet the necessary emission reductions. Within Australia, the path to national decarbonisation has not run smoothly.


Decarbonisation is defined here as the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from an organisation or process through a concerted strategy, to a point of neutrality. This article examines the presence of Best Practice Carbon Management (BPCM) within four Australian organisations from two contrasting sectors. The cases are taken from the high emissions electricity sector and the low emissions university sector, representing extreme cases in terms of carbon emissions and contrasting potential reasons to decarbonise. Findings show that all of the cases are taking action in each attribute area of BPCM but overall are still struggling to decarbonise. The cases presented in this article display individualisation within their carbon management strategies, linked to their internal and external environments. Organisational strengths are discussed in the areas of Networking/Stakeholder Engagement; Strategy; Resource Allocation; and Knowledge Creation. A typology of strategic responses is constructed and potential areas of attribute underdevelopment identified, with implications for achieving decarbonisation.

This article appears in the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 27, 2020 - Issue 2.

Read the full journal article


Dr Belinda Wade

Dr Belinda Wade

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Andrew Griffiths

Professor Andrew Griffiths

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