A Thirst for knowledge? The desirability and feasibility of embedded water labelling in Australia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

Purpose - This paper explores the potential for the labelling of the water content of products in an Australian context. It considers theoretical and technical aspects of water labelling. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is conceptual. It provides an overview of current water legislation in Australia and locates labelling within the extant social and environmental literature. It draws on existing research on other labelling programs and Australian water issues to explore the potential for an Australian labelling scheme. Findings - The paper suggests that there is promise in a water labelling scheme to improve the sustainability of Australian water consumption. However the paper identifies significant technical hurdles, the most important of which is that the impact of water extractions is determined not only by extraction volumes but also by temporal and spatial particulars. Therefore a simple numerical label is unlikely to fully communicate the significance of water usage. Research limitations/implications - The findings of the paper suggest that further empirical research could usefully be conducted in this area, particularly in terms of identifying solutions to the technical problems noted above. Practical implications - A successful labelling scheme has direct practical implications for reducing water use. However the research has not yet reached a stage where a specific labelling scheme is proposed. Originality/value - Water is one of the most important sustainability issues today. Labelling schemes in general offer some potential for improving corporate supply-chain accountability but have received little attention in the social and environmental accounting literature.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Australasian Conference for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (A-CSEAR 2008)
EditorsRoger L. Burritt
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherCentre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability, University of South Australia
Pages273-292
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780646496306
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralasian Conference for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (7th : 2008) - Adelaide
Duration: 7 Dec 20089 Dec 2008

Conference

ConferenceAustralasian Conference for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (7th : 2008)
CityAdelaide
Period7/12/089/12/08

Keywords

  • water
  • water labelling
  • Australia

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  • Cite this

    Hazelton, J. (2008). A Thirst for knowledge? The desirability and feasibility of embedded water labelling in Australia. In R. L. Burritt (Ed.), Proceedings of the 7th Australasian Conference for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (A-CSEAR 2008) (pp. 273-292). Adelaide: Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability, University of South Australia.