Monday, 2 July 2018

Meet the Members: Eija Vinnari & David Jackson

Eija Vinnari, Professor, University of Tampere, Finland

If my memory serves me correctly, I joined CSEAR in 2011 in the context of attending the UK conference for the first time. After some years of searching for my place in academia, I was thrilled to have finally found a community of colleagues who had similar concerns about the state of our planet and encouraged me to undertake critical research about these issues.

I have difficulties with disciplinary silos, which means that my work covers a range of fields including of course accounting but also public management and policy, political studies, and environmental/animal ethics. To highlight just one theme, what I consider to be my most significant achievements are recent and ongoing studies related to the promotion of animal rights, conducted in collaboration with various colleagues. Matias Laine and I continue our work on the counter accounts produced and other tactics employed by animal rights activists. Jesse Dillard and I share an interest in extending accountability and other democratic processes to marginalized constituencies, such as non-human beings, through critical dialogic accounting. With my spouse Markus Vinnari, I explore ways of integrating animal rights considerations into the definition of sustainability and associated decision-making. To find out more about these topics and my other research interests, please see my website (in English despite the link text):

It is not an exaggeration to say that I also feel passionate about conceptualization. I am more than happy to engage emerging scholars as well as more senior colleagues in discussions over Actor-Network Theory, agonistic pluralism, discourse analytical frameworks, institutional work, ontological politics and philosophy of science overall. This is because I firmly believe that value rational research stands a much better chance of making the world a better place if its prescriptions emerge from a strong conceptual foundation.

Mr David Jackson, PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh Business School, UK
First year with CSEAR

Before returning to academia I worked for the Met Office as a forecaster, but I was keen to change career paths to think about how I could reduce the impact of climate change rather than just predicting it.  

I am part of the Centre for Business and Climate Change and my research aims to help reduce carbon emissions throughout the construction industry, particularly on large infrastructure projects.  This will be done through the development of an open-sourced carbon accounting tool that will identify carbon hotspots and allow decision makers to make informed decisions to reduce carbon emissions on their projects.

As well as the development of the tool and exploring the most appropriate carbon accounting methods to use, I am keen to research the social barriers that stand in the way of the tool's adoption in the industry, and carbon management more generally. I will also explore the relationships between contractors and their supply chains, looking at how carbon reduction can be used to improve relationships and increase efficiency.

This research is important as whether directly or indirectly, the infrastructure sector is responsible for over 50% of the UK's carbon emissions.  If the UK is serious about meeting the targets set under the 2008 Climate Change Act then carbon reductions in this area are certainly needed.

Social and environmental accounting brings new depth to research in this area. Within the construction industry, much of the research on carbon accounting focusses on the methods used without understanding how these tools will be used within organisations. I feel that understanding the social reservations that organisations have towards carbon accounting will enable us to help overcome these challenges and change the way the industry works.

I am currently supervised by Dr. Matthew Brander and Dr. Kathi Keasehage (both University of Edinburgh) but I am always open to new ideas, so please get in touch if you would like any more information, or have any suggestions for my research going forward.

Looking forward to hopefully meeting you in St Andrews in August!

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