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SDG15 – Life on Land: Towards Effective Biodiversity Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-817-4

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2021

Edzuwyn Fathin Binti Haji Mahyuddin, Mohammad Iranmanesh, Azlan Amran and Behzad Foroughi

This study aims to explain how board and hotel characteristics affect biodiversity reporting and to test the moderating effect of market diversification.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explain how board and hotel characteristics affect biodiversity reporting and to test the moderating effect of market diversification.

Design/methodology/approach

The annual reports of 105 hotels were examined for the period between 2016 and 2017 to analyse these hotels’ biodiversity reporting using content analysis. The partial least squares technique was used to test the proposed relationships.

Findings

The results show that the number of board members who are also on the corporate social responsibility committee, number of board members who are in environmental organizations, the star rating of the hotel, hotel size and hotel location have significant positive effects on the extent of biodiversity reporting. In addition, market diversification moderates positively the effects of number of board members with environmental experience and number of board members from environmental organizations on the extent of biodiversity reporting.

Practical implications

The results of this study will be useful in enabling hotel manager and investors to become knowledgeable about these aspects of boards, which lead to higher biodiversity reporting. This study can also inform policymakers about the types of hotels that are less likely to disclose biodiversity reports and to develop effective enforcement of regulations.

Originality/value

These findings extend the literature on biodiversity reporting by exploring the importance of board and hotel characteristics on the extent of biodiversity reporting and testing the moderating effect of market diversification.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2020

Jill Atkins and Warren Maroun

This paper explores the historical roots of accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting by analysing the 18th-century Naturalist's Journals of Gilbert White and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the historical roots of accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting by analysing the 18th-century Naturalist's Journals of Gilbert White and interpreting them as biodiversity accounts produced by an interested party. The authors aim to contribute to the accounting history literature by extending the form of accounting studied to include nature diaries as well as by exploring historical ecological accounts, as well as contributing to the burgeoning literature on accounting for biodiversity and extinction accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors’ method involves analysing the content of Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals by producing an 18th-century biodiversity account of species of flora and fauna and then interpretively drawing out themes from the Journals. The authors then provide a Whitean extinction account by comparing current species' status with White's biodiversity account from 250 years ago.

Findings

This paper uses Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals as a basis for comparing biodiversity and natural capital 250 years ago with current species' status according to extinction threat and conservation status. Further the paper shows how early nature diary recording represents early (and probably the only) forms of accounting for biodiversity and extinction. The authors also highlight themes within White's accounts including social emancipation, problematisation, aesthetic elements and an example of an early audit of biodiversity accounting.

Research limitations/implications

There are limitations to analysing Gilbert White's Naturalist's Journals given that the only available source is an edited version. The authors therefore interpret their data as accounts which are indicative of biodiversity and species abundance rather than an exactly accurate account.

Practical implications

From the authors’ analysis and reflections, the authors suggest that contemporary biodiversity accounting needs to incorporate a combination of narrative, data accounting and pictorial/aesthetic representation if it is to provide a rich and accurate report of biodiversity and nature. The authors also suggest that extinction accounting should draw on historical data in order to demonstrate change in natural capital over time.

Social implications

Social implications include the understanding gleaned from the authors’ analysis of the role of Gilbert White as a nature diarist in society and the contribution made over time by his Journals and other writings to the development of nature accounting and recording, as well as to one’s understanding and knowledge of species of flora and fauna.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge this is the first attempt to analyse and interpret nature diaries as accounts of biodiversity and extinction.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Madlen Sobkowiak, Thomas Cuckston and Ian Thomson

This research seeks to explain how a national government becomes capable of constructing an account of its biodiversity performance that is aimed at enabling formulation…

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to explain how a national government becomes capable of constructing an account of its biodiversity performance that is aimed at enabling formulation of policy in pursuit of SDG 15: Life on Land.

Design/methodology/approach

The research examines a case study of the construction of the UK government's annual biodiversity report. The case is analysed to explain the process of framing a space in which the SDG-15 challenge of halting biodiversity loss is rendered calculable, such that the government can see and understand its own performance in relation to this challenge.

Findings

The construction of UK government's annual biodiversity report relies upon data collected through non-governmental conservation efforts, statistical expertise of a small project group within the government and a governmental structure that drives ongoing evolution of the indicators as actors strive to make these useful for policy formulation.

Originality/value

The analysis problematises the SDG approach to accounting for sustainable development, whereby performance indicators have been centrally agreed and universally imposed upon all signatory governments. The analysis suggests that capacity-building efforts for national governments may need to be broader than that envisaged by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Giordano Ruggeri, Chiara Mazzocchi and Stefano Corsi

Consumers' concerns about the environmental impacts of food production have been increasing over the last years, and several certification systems for environment-friendly…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers' concerns about the environmental impacts of food production have been increasing over the last years, and several certification systems for environment-friendly food products have been created. This research investigates wine consumers' preferences for a certification that guarantees the use of agricultural practices that better protect the biodiversity in the vineyard during the production of grapes.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a choice experiment, we investigate consumer preferences and willingness to pay for biodiversity-friendly wines on a sample of 334 wine consumers. The experiment was carried out by direct interviews at a wine-tasting event in an Italian winery located in the Franciacorta area, in northern Italy. A between-subject design and two different questionnaires were used, one presenting the Brut bottle and one the Satén bottle.

Findings

Estimates from a mixed logit model reveal that consumers are generally willing to pay a higher price for biodiversity-friendly wines, but they have stronger preferences for organic certification and quality indications. When consumers perceive a specific product as having high quality, i.e. Satèn, they might be less willing to pay for further environment-friendly certifications. Moreover, preferences depend on sociodemographic and attitudinal variables such as gender, wine consumption frequency, wine education and knowledge degree of the labels.

Originality/value

This paper broadens the knowledge about consumer preferences and willingness to pay for biodiversity-friendly wines, focusing on a specific market segment of Italian sparkling wines.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2018

Ralph Adler, Mansi Mansi and Rakesh Pandey

The purpose of this paper is to explore the biodiversity and threatened species reporting of the top 150 Fortune Global companies. The paper has two main objectives: to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the biodiversity and threatened species reporting of the top 150 Fortune Global companies. The paper has two main objectives: to explore the extent to which the top 150 Fortune Global companies disclose information about their biodiversity and species conservation practices, and to explore the effects of biodiversity partners and industry on companies’ biodiversity and threatened species reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The study’s sample is the top 150 Fortune Global companies. Each company’s fiscal year ending 2014 annual report, its 2014 sustainability report, and its company website were content analyzed for evidence of biodiversity and threatened species reporting. This content analysis is supplemented by a detailed analysis that focusses on the sample’s top five reporters, including a phone interview with a senior sustainability manager working at one of these companies. Finally, a regression analysis was conducted to examine the associations between companies’ biodiversity and threatened species reporting and the presence/absence of biodiversity partners and a company’s industry F&C Asset Management industry category.

Findings

The reporting on biodiversity and threatened species by the top 150 Fortune Global companies is quite limited. Few companies (less than 15) are providing any substantial reporting. It was further observed that even among the high scoring companies there is a lack of consistent reporting across all index items. A subsequent empirical examination of these companies’ disclosures on biodiversity and threatened species showed a statistically positive association between the amount of reporting and companies’ holding of biodiversity partnerships. It was also observed that firms categorized as red- and green-zone companies made more disclosures on biodiversity and threatened species than amber-zone companies.

Originality/value

This is the first study to systematically analyze corporate disclosures related to threatened species and habitats. While some prior studies have included the concept of biodiversity when analyzing organizations’ environmental disclosures, they have done so by examining it as one general category out of many further categories for investigating organizations’ environmental reporting. In the present study, the focus is on the specific contents of biodiversity disclosures. As such, this study has the twin research objectives of seeking to illuminate the current state of biodiversity and threatened species reporting by the world’s largest multinationals and provide an appreciation for how certain organizational and industry variables serve to influence these reporting practices. These multiple insights offer companies, and potentially regulators, understanding about how to include (or extend) disclosures on biodiversity loss and species under threat of extinction.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Mark C. Freeman and Ben Groom

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the application of standard environmental accounting practices for estimating long‐term discount rates is likely to lead to…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that the application of standard environmental accounting practices for estimating long‐term discount rates is likely to lead to the rejection of biodiversity‐sensitive projects that are in the greater societal good.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors combine estimates of marginal ecosystem damages from two forestry case studies, one local, one global, with ten different term structures of discount rates taken from both the academic literature and policy choices to calculate present values.

Findings

Standard environmental accounting approaches for estimating the long‐term discount rate result in the under‐valuation of projects that are sensitive to biodiversity conservation.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is set within a full cost accounting (FCA) framework, and therefore has the limitations that generally follow from taking this approach to biodiversity problems. Recommended extensions include looking at broader ranges of biodiversity costs and benefits.

Social implications

Unless environmental accountants engage with environmental economists over the issue of intergenerational discount rates, then it is likely that socially responsible managers will reject projects that are in the greater societal good.

Originality/value

The paper introduces both normative discount rates and declining discount rates to estimates of shadow environmental provisions within FCA and contrasts these with current environmental accounting practices. It also provides two detailed case studies that demonstrate the extent to which biodiversity‐sensitive investment choices are likely to be undervalued by managers who follow current accounting recommendations concerning the appropriate choice of discount rate.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

Thomas Cuckston

The purpose of this paper is to explain how proponents of biodiversity offsetting have sought to produce an ecologically defensible mechanism for reconciling economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how proponents of biodiversity offsetting have sought to produce an ecologically defensible mechanism for reconciling economic development and biodiversity conservation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses a case study biodiversity offsetting mechanism in New South Wales, Australia. Michel Callon’s framing and overflowing metaphor is used to explain how accounting devices are brought into the mechanism, to (re)frame a space of calculability and address anxieties expressed by conservationists about calculations of net loss/gain of biodiversity.

Findings

The analysis shows that the offsetting mechanism embeds a form of accounting for biodiversity that runs counter to the prevailing dominant anthropocentric approach. Rather than accounting for the biodiversity of a site in terms of the economic benefits it provides to humans, the mechanism accounts for biodiversity in terms of its ecological value. This analysis, therefore, reveals a form of accounting for biodiversity that uses numbers to provide valuations of biodiversity, but these numbers are ecological numbers, not economic numbers. So this is a calculative, and also ecocentric, approach to accounting for, and valuing, biodiversity.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the extant literature on accounting for biodiversity by revealing a novel conceptualisation of the reconciliation of economic development and biodiversity conservation, producing an ecologically defensible form of sustainable development. The paper also makes a methodological contribution by showing how Callon’s framing and overflowing metaphor can be used to enable the kind of interdisciplinary engagement needed for researchers to address sustainable development challenges.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Gunnar Rimmel and Kristina Jonäll

The purpose of this article is to provide an account of the quantity, location and intentions behind companies' biodiversity disclosure.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide an account of the quantity, location and intentions behind companies' biodiversity disclosure.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies a mixed methods approach to the examination of the quantity and location of biodiversity disclosure. The research focuses on a study of corporate websites and corporate reports over a five‐year period. Interviews with company representatives were also conducted regarding company intentions behind biodiversity disclosure.

Findings

The findings of this study show that few of the companies studied have a record of providing continuous biodiversity information. Those companies that provide the most biodiversity information are in the lower‐risk sector. The interview respondents identify social environmental reporting frameworks as catalysts for biodiversity disclosure. A reason for this low level of biodiversity disclosure may be the infrequency of interaction with pressure groups. However, the respondents also state, as increasingly their companies have paid more attention to sustainability reporting in recent years, more detailed biodiversity disclosure has resulted.

Research limitations/implications

The research in this study, which is explorative and descriptive, is limited to a study of the quantity and location of biodiversity disclosure by 29 companies listed on the OMXS30 and the preparers' reasons for such disclosure.

Originality/value

This is an original study that attempts to go beyond mere reporting of biodiversity disclosure by examining the motivations for such disclosure using interviews with company representatives.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2014

Grant Samkin, Annika Schneider and Dannielle Tappin

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of a biodiversity reporting and evaluation framework. The application of the framework to an exemplar…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the development of a biodiversity reporting and evaluation framework. The application of the framework to an exemplar organisation identifies biodiversity-related annual report disclosures and analyses changes in the nature and levels of these over time. Finally, the paper aims to establish whether the disclosures made by the exemplar are consistent with a deep ecological perspective, as exemplified by New Zealand conservation legislation.

Design/methodology/approach

Viewing the framework developed by the paper through a deep ecological lens, the study involves a detailed content analysis of the biodiversity disclosures contained within the annual reports of a conservation organisation over a 23-year period. Using the framework developed in this paper, the biodiversity-related text units were identified and allocated to one of three major categories, 13 subcategories, and then into deep, intermediate and shallow ecology.

Findings

Biodiversity disclosures enable stakeholders to determine the goals, assess their implementation, and evaluate the performance of an organisation. Applying the framework to the exemplar revealed the majority of annual report disclosures focused on presenting performance/implementation information. The study also found that the majority of disclosures reflect a deep ecological approach. A deep/shallow ecological tension was apparent in a number of disclosures, especially those relating to the exploitation of the conservation estate.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to develop a framework that can be used as both a biodiversity reporting assessment tool and a reporting guide. The framework will be particularly useful for those studying reporting by conservation departments and stakeholders of organisations whose operations impact biodiversity.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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