Enhancing Firm GHG Reporting: Using Index Numbers to Report Corporate Level Measures of Sustainability (Pages: 29-37)

Gale Boyd1 and Jay S. Golden2

1Social Science Research Institute, Duke University and 2Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce & Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30634/2414-2077.2016.02.4

Abstract: A growing number of companies report changes in energy use or other measures of “sustainability” on an intensity basis. However, when the mix of products produced is changing it is hard to tell if a change in intensity is due to efficiency or simply changes in the types of products they produce. This article draws a parallel between the problem of corporate reporting of sustainability and the empirical application of index decomposition analysis (IDA) of trends in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. While a variety of index numbers have been proposed by this literature, this paper presents one, the Fisher index, as a good choice and leaves the application of other index numbers in the literature to the reader. An example using real world data from the seven divisions of a large, energy intensive company, Corning, is presented.

Keywords: Industrial ecology, Greenhouse gas reporting, Sustainability reporting, Fisher index, Energy policy.