The Centre explores and analyses existing measurement tools and methods related to climate change and sustainability.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) or carbon accounting and broader forms of sustainability accounting are necessary to usefully measure the things that matter in moving towards a more sustainable society. Global climate change and other major sustainability challenges call for new ways of organising business and society, including new ways of measuring, valuing, and assessing the effects of our actions, the accountability of key actors, and the complex interdependencies between the natural and social worlds.

Our Centre explores existing measurement practices, metrics, accounting methods, and tools related to climate change and sustainability issues, with a particular focus on carbon/GHG emissions accounting. Accounting underpins effective carbon and sustainability management, especially in areas such as incentives and market mechanisms.

The Centre has pioneered both theoretical and applied research on carbon accounting, and more recently, natural capital accounting, assurance, and risk assessment. We are focused in particular on the technical development of tools and metrics, as well as how new practices, standards, and institutions emerge, and how effectively they mobilise investment and deliver environmental outcomes. The aim of such research is to inform effective policy instruments at local, national, and international levels, as well as business decision-making and impact.

Mathew Brander discusses his research on greenhouse gas accounting and its positive impact in addressing climate change.

Indicative research projects

  • Calling time on 'Green-washing': Fixing international greenhouse gas accounting practices to promote genuine climate change mitigation
  • Exploring climate-related risks and how these can be measured in order to inform financial modelling and policy.
  • Examining appropriate metrics for Paris Alignment of financial flows.
  • Developing and championing natural capital accounting practices, to inform and shape policy development and business strategy.
  • Developing tools to effectively measure and manage sustainability related issues, in relation to government infrastructure policy, negative emissions technologies, and bioenergy.
  • Modelling carbon emissions linked to consumption and trading in different regional economies.
  • Understanding the links between different forms of GHG accounting, including:
    • attributional life-cycle assessment
    • corporate GHG accounts
    • city level inventories
    • national GHG inventories
    • policy level accounting
    • project-level accounting
    • consequential life cycle assessment