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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 601; doi:10.3390/su9040601

The Influence of the Sustainability Logic on Carbon Disclosure in the Global Logistics Industry: The Case of DHL, FDX and UPS

Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
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Academic Editor: Marc Rosen
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract

As a significant contributor to carbon emissions, global logistics companies are under scrutiny from various stakeholders, and respond by disclosing carbon-related information in the form of carbon reports. Carbon disclosure is, however, a mainly voluntary practice that allows for a broad range of interpretation from the management field, which leads to different approaches to the measurement and reporting of carbon-related information. From a theoretical perspective, these different carbon-disclosure approaches in global logistics companies can be attributed to the underlying construct of competing logics, namely the market and the sustainability logic. While competing logics are frequently discussed in the current literature, little is known about their influence on shaping carbon-disclosure practices. The aim of this paper is to examine the similarities and differences in the measurement and reporting of carbon-related information in order to capture the underlying logic that drives carbon-disclosure behaviour in the global logistics industry. We adopt an interpretative content analysis approach and examine the carbon-related information using the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reports of DHL, FDX and UPS. The analysis reveals significant differences in the applied carbon-disclosure strategies, as well as in the degree of transparency between the three companies. The results also indicate that the carbon-disclosure practices of FDX are dominated by a market logic that emphasizes the economic benefits of carbon reductions, while DHL and UPS have prioritized the sustainability logic to gain a competitive advantage. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon disclosure; sustainability reporting; sustainability logic; global logistics industry carbon disclosure; sustainability reporting; sustainability logic; global logistics industry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Herold, D.M.; Lee, K.-H. The Influence of the Sustainability Logic on Carbon Disclosure in the Global Logistics Industry: The Case of DHL, FDX and UPS. Sustainability 2017, 9, 601.

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