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Environmental management and regulation: pitfalls of environmental accounting?

Enrico Bracci (Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrana, Ferrana, Italy)
Laura Maran (Department of Accounting, RMT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 7 June 2013

4569

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper is aimed at arguing the fallacy of those political arguments when an economical evaluation of those advantages is implicated. The present analysis will unearth the partisan nature of the specific accounting rules and principles to fill up the Italian financial reporting in spite of any environmental sensitivity. The paper attempts to suggest a mediation through a comprehensive view on hegemonic discourses of environmental management and their counter‐evidences of accounting practices about environmental management.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion is pivoted on the counter‐evidences of the present management tools both at the level of financial reporting and analytical accounting.

Findings

The evidences stress the limits of the accounting regulation, since the categories of costs in the financial report scheme open a few possibilities to distinguish the environmental costs. Those considerations are an obstacle to the “internalization” of environmental externalities and they do not support the main issue of a pro‐active environmental system.

Originality/value

The present work shows the potential of accounting to make things visible and measurable and the will to take this opportunity to solve the urgency of the environmental problems. In so doing, the work contributes to the present debate on environmental management systems, through a detailed and in‐depth analysis of the accounting loci for environmental issues.

Keywords

Citation

Bracci, E. and Maran, L. (2013), "Environmental management and regulation: pitfalls of environmental accounting?", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 538-554. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-04-2012-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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