حسابداری توسعه پایدارـــــ تاریخچه مختصر و چارچوب مفهومی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4||2005||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting Forum, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2005, Pages 7–26
Research linking accounting to the emerging concept of sustainability surfaced in the early 1990s and has received continuing attention in academic and professional accounting literature. This paper tracks this brief history through to the release of the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002, consolidating the various approaches into a sustainability accounting framework. The result is a comprehensive reporting model that presents an enormous challenge to business organisations, requiring a significant commitment of resources to achieve widespread implementation. Failure to meet this challenge enables business organisations to continue to avoid accountability for their continuing unsustainability. The paper concludes with a personal view as to how implementation of the sustainability accounting framework could proceed.
Environmental accounting and its most evolved form sustainability accounting (Elkington, 1993), have received continuing attention in the academic accounting literature beginning with the work of Gray in the early 1990s, through to the release of the Sustainability Accounting Guidelines at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August, 2002. This paper reviews and consolidates this research into a sustainability accounting framework that captures the breadth and complexity of this new form of accounting. The framework draws on the traditional financial accounting model for its structure, whilst the content of the sustainability accounting framework is derived from the various approaches taken by accounting researchers to link accounting to sustainability over the past 10 years. 2. A brief history of sustainability accounting Gray is attributed with much of the conceptual development of sustainability accounting. Gray (1993) identifies three different methods of sustainability accounting 1. Sustainable cost. 2.Natural capital inventory accounting. 3. Input–output analysis. These three methods together with full-cost accounting and triple bottom line (TBL) accounting are discussed in Sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4, leading to the identification of common themes in Section 2.5 and the specification of a comprehensive sustainability accounting framework in Section 4.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper reviews the relatively short history of sustainability accounting theory and practice, and draws upon the structure of the financial accounting model to develop a sustainability accounting framework. The aim of the framework is to provide direction for future development of sustainability accounting at both conceptual and applied levels. Whether or not it will prove beneficial to apply the structure of the traditional financial accounting model to the sustainability accounting framework is unknown. Ideally sustainability accounting practice should benefit from the history of financial and management accounting, although such an approach may stifle creative development and reinforce existing (environmental) problems and their (accounting) causes. The sustainability accounting framework depicted in Fig. 2 presents an enormous challenge to business. The breadth of reporting to include aspects of environmental, social and economic performance which conform to the stringent qualitative standards set in the GRI Guidelines requires a large commitment of resources to achieve widespread application. Given that the desired outcome from the dissemination of sustainability accounting information is radical change to sustainable business practice; it is unrealistic to expect business to voluntarily commit the resources required for full implementation. Furthermore, humankind has too much to lose if this transition does not take place. This paper views the development of sustainability accounting through the lens of the traditional financial accounting model. What this reveals is that sustainability accounting as theorised and practiced exhibits some of the attributes of the traditional financial accounting model but much work is required for sustainability accounting practice to achieve the rigor and integrity defined by the list of qualitative attributes. One option for financing the implementation of sustainability reporting would be to use environmental taxes to both raise revenue and to discourage negative environmental impacts. Once the sustainability accounting system is established tax rates could be linked to (sustainability) performance outcomes to encourage the transition to sustainability at the organizational level. Environmental taxes are a common policy option within green political parties, and have been established as policy during the 1990s in Europe (Ekins, 1999). A critical assumption of this research is that corporate impacts on the environment can be changed by the provision of relevant information to stakeholders. Linking sustainability performance to rates of tax incurred at the corporate level should increase the likelihood of corporate management responding to the information produced. The expectation that business organisations pass environmental taxes on to consumers would partially offset the widespread underpricing of economic goods and services from the failure to include environmental and social costs in market prices. The formation of independent transdisciplinary sustainability teams to prepare and audit sustainability accounts would add credibility to the process. Accountants will need to broaden their knowledge and establish a common dialogue to facilitate discourse with social and ecological professionals. A more cost effective alternative to the regular and continuous preparation of sustainability accounting information could be to prepare sustainability reports (say) every 3 years, using data the company is required to collect annually. The future direction of sustainability accounting research must continue to display the essential quality of diversity. Attempts to increase the coverage, depth and quality of sustainability accounting information need to be complimented by research which draws on knowledge from outside conventional accounting and business. An interesting example is provided by the joint project between GPI Atlantic and the Centre for Bhutan Studies, who report work in progress toward the measurement of human, social and natural capital including environmental quality, health, security, equity, education and free time (Coleman, 2004, p. 5). This project draws on the Buddhist foundation and commitment of the Bhutan Government to achieve genuine progress toward operationalising the objective of Gross National Happiness. Innovative projects drawing, where appropriate on alternative cultural perspective are needed to inform an accounting that is capable of making a genuine contribution to sustainability.