Climate change and GHG emissions reporting in Russia : practice and perceptions
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Global climate change is one of the biggest environmental problems the planet is facing, which is thought be a result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This study investigates climate change and GHG emissions reporting in Russia, one of the biggest GHG emitters in the world. The study draws from neo-institutional theory. The empirical analysis was carried out in several stages: analysis of the Russian context; quantitative content analysis of GHG emissions; qualitative content analysis of climate change related disclosures; followed by in-depth analysis of managers’ and accountants’ perceptions of climate change issues. Contradictory logics imposed by the institutional and market context lead organizations to seek the “win-win” approach to climate change issue, where the company can be profitable and environmentally friendly. The findings also show the difference in the approach to climate change problem across different sectors, suggesting that industries diffuse appropriate templates within a sector. At the same time, results demonstrate the variations within sectors. The results of also demonstrate that the change in practice takes place if a new practice is supported by a powerful group, for example by the board of directors. The findings show direct relationship between companies’ size and GHG disclosures. The results also demonstrate that financial resources play important role in changing the practice. These findings support Greenwood and Hinings’ (1996) suggestion that companies need a capacity for change to be able to manage the process of change to a new disclosure practice. The originality of the study is in its focus on a developing/transitional economy, with the in-depth analysis of Russia’s context. It is suggested that application of a neo-institutional perspective in the analysis of the accounting practice within a transitional/developing economy is particularly useful. Application of a mixed methods approach allows understanding climate change related disclosures among Russian companies and appreciating the reasons behind those (non-)disclosures.