Shaping accountabilities for erroneously enacted environmental evidence

Ingmar Lippert

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Drawing on fieldwork in and around a transnational Fortune 50 company's "corporate social responsibility" unit, this paper opens up a range of situations that took part in enacting the company's evidence of its impact on global warming. This evidence was implicated in at least two significant modes of accountability: first, the company was performing itself as a socially and environmentally accountable and responsible "corporate citizen"; second, the company was inhabiting a discourse of evidence-based decision-making, requiring the evidence to be produced accountably. I analyse a limited set of ethnographic vignettes of situated work practice that (con)figured the company's accounting for their carbon emissions. Common to all these situations was that the environmental realities enacted have been categorised by some members as erroneous or as not good enough. In this paper I am interested, thence, in the enactment of such erroneous environmental evidence by and in heterogeneous collectives. To explore these enactments I experiment with contrasting analyses of these practices as ontological (Mol) or ontic (Verran) politics whilst focusing on how these politics shape and distribute the (im)possibilities for particular modes of relating to, responding to and accounting for the various actants involved in the work, including to/for the discursively imagined "real" carbon.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date4 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016
EventEASST/4S Science and Technology by Other Means: Exploring collectives, spaces and futures - Barcelona Convention Centre (CCIB), Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 31 Aug 20163 Sept 2016


ConferenceEASST/4S Science and Technology by Other Means
LocationBarcelona Convention Centre (CCIB)
Internet address


  • accountability
  • ontology
  • environment
  • carbon accounting


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