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The Promise of Impact Accounting

Generation Impact

ISBN: 978-1-78973-930-5, eISBN: 978-1-78973-929-9

Publication date: 8 January 2021


To catalyse the impact economy, we need a common language which unites the various disciplines covered by the universe of impact investing, including environmental science, sociology, anthropology, human capital, childhood education and development, workforce development, criminal justice, diversity equity and inclusion and more and which translates those into monetary estimates to enable decision-making, and to catalyse more sustainable and just outcomes. Impact accounting seeks to do just that by uniting the statements of an organisation's financial health and performance with monetised impact accounts that reflect the organisation's positive and negative impacts on employees, customers, the environment and the broader society. This chapter provides an argument for impact accounting, an implementation roadmap, and grapples with principles and ethics-based challenges for impact accounting.

Collectively, we can use impact accounting to demand accountability from the businesses from which we purchase or of which we are equity owners, either through from investment managers and our retirement accounts. We must demand that they start showing the impact-weighted earnings of their profits or the ‘true’ price of the product they produce.



Zochowski, T.R. (2021), "The Promise of Impact Accounting", Richards, A. and Nicholls, J. (Ed.) Generation Impact, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 257-266.



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