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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Nicolas Antheaume

The purpose of this paper is to present a history of social and environmental accounting (SEA) in France.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a history of social and environmental accounting (SEA) in France.

Design/methodology/approach

The choice is made to select and analyze three important breakthroughs in the development of SEA in France, at different periods. Three case studies are presented, based on secondary sources for two of them and on the author’s own research for the third one. The author choses the concept of organizational field, defined through its actors, how they interact, what they do, what tools and practices are being developed and what regulations are being enacted.

Findings

If each case is different in terms of context and outcome, all three present common characteristics which characterize the underlying forces which shaped SEA in France: mainly the role played by elites both in government and industry, an ability for industry to present its interests as the interests of France with an impact on the international standardization of some tools and regulatory issues such as product labeling. The French scene is dominated by engineers, characterized by quantitative tools which “measure” environmental performance, in line with the culture of the French elite for which mathematics are a tool for action and problem-solving. In a certain way this “depoliticized” environmental questions and made them a question of optimization more than a question of politics.

Practical implications

Because of the specific context in which some tools emerge, they may not be transferable to other countries without important changes.

Social implications

The focus on problem solving through quantitative tools to make the most rational decision, and the claim by the engineering profession to be in the best position to do so, is not a focus on accountability. This may be part of the reason why the accounting profession is not as involved as in other countries.

Originality/value

This paper also shows how France has been both a local field of SEA production, when it comes to developing quantitative tools, with occasional global reach, and an importer of global standards and SEA concepts which originated from the Anglo-Saxon word, when it comes to reporting. More generally, it is also a good illustration of how the development of a “local” organizational field is congruent with the characteristic of its national environment.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2020

Delphine Gibassier, Sami El Omari and Philippe Naccache

Within the emergent professional field of carbon accounting, we analyse the institutional work that gives birth to a nascent profession in a multi-actor arena. We…

Abstract

Purpose

Within the emergent professional field of carbon accounting, we analyse the institutional work that gives birth to a nascent profession in a multi-actor arena. We therefore contribute to enhancing our understanding of the birth of professions – in their very first steps and infancy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs a qualitative approach. We collected data from 1999 to 2015 and conducted 15 semi-structured interviews. One of the researchers was active in the field for two years and participated in carbon accounting events in France as a “participant observer”.

Findings

Our research contributes to an understanding of the dynamic professionalization process in which the different actors mobilize both creative work and sabotage work. We further theorize how nascent professions structure their project around knowledge, identity and boundary work. At the same time, we develop the notion of sabotage work, which is comprised of two sub-categories of institutional work: counter-work and the absence of work.

Originality/value

To our knowledge, this is one of the first attempts to analyse the birth of an environmental accounting profession. We emphasize both creative work and sabotage work in the professionalization project. We conclude on further research that could be performed on environmental accounting professions.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2018

Delphine Gibassier, Jonathan Maurice and Charles Cho

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315

Abstract

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Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2011

Robert Kenny and Charles Kenny

Governments around the world are providing multi‐billion dollar subsidies to roll out fiber to the home (FTTH) to enable superfast broadband (50 Mbps and above). The

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1813

Abstract

Purpose

Governments around the world are providing multi‐billion dollar subsidies to roll out fiber to the home (FTTH) to enable superfast broadband (50 Mbps and above). The premise for this is a belief that superfast broadband brings substantial economic and societal benefits. This paper's purpose is to examine whether this belief is well founded.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors critically review the arguments most commonly made in favor of FTTH, examining their logic and underlying evidence.

Findings

The paper finds that these arguments often inappropriately use benefits of basic broadband to make the case for the upgrade to superfast broadband, or use the benefits of providing superfast to business premises to argue for providing superfast to homes. The authors find the evidence that basic broadband brings economic growth is patchy, and that frequently studies that argue for a link do not adequately distinguish between correlation and causation.

Originality/value

Thus the authors conclude that the conventional wisdom that FTTH will bring substantial economic and societal benefits and therefore deserves a subsidy is, at best, much overstated. The case has simply not been made that FTTH has sufficient incremental externalities over other forms of broadband. This is an important conclusion for politicians, policy makers, telecoms providers and taxpayers, and suggests that billions of dollars of public money may be being wasted.

Details

info, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1998

N.C.M. Beers, M.J.C.M. Koppes and L.A.M. Rupert

Changes in regulations aiming at reducing the impact that technologies such as coatings, adhesives, cleaners have on the environment is leading to large advances in these…

Abstract

Changes in regulations aiming at reducing the impact that technologies such as coatings, adhesives, cleaners have on the environment is leading to large advances in these end‐use technologies. In achieving the required quality of the end product, and irrespective of whether this is in areas such as high solids paints or water‐based coatings, solvents keep on playing an important role. At the same time different requirements are set for the solvents employed. The changing role of solvents and the technological benefits solvents are bringing are discussed. It is shown that the computer programme BLENDPRO is an effective reformulation tool which assists in the efficient development of new formulations in these areas.

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Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

S.S. Muthu, Y. Li, J.Y. Hu, P.Y. Mok, Y.F. Mao, Q.H. Li and X.X. Wu

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the development of a novel test instrument to quantify the eco‐functional properties of various shopping bags. One of the main…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the development of a novel test instrument to quantify the eco‐functional properties of various shopping bags. One of the main properties, which lies at the interface of both ecological and functional properties, is the reusability of shopping bags. Other properties at this juncture also include the impact strength and weight holding capacity of a shopping bag.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed tester can be used to assess these three properties (reusability, impact strength and weight holding capacity) of any type of shopping bag. This study discusses the concept and development of an eco‐functional tester for shopping bags. It also reports test results of the reusability, impact strength and weight holding capacity of different types of shopping bags. Reusability and impact strength are expressed by two variants: absolute maximum capability and comparative maximum capability.

Findings

According to the test results, plastic bags outscore paper bags in the single use category and woven bags top the reusable bags category.

Originality/value

To date, there is no scientific instrument reported in the literature that quantifies the reusability of different shopping bags. The value of reusability can be directly utilized for LCA calculations. Other functions derived from this instrument are equally important, since they decide the useful life time of shopping bag and they assist the LCA practitioner to decide the functional unit of the study. This unit is the base of any LCA study and upon it comparisons are made.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

John Wincott

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254

Abstract

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Souâd Taïbi, Nicolas Antheaume and Delphine Gibassier

The purpose of this paper is to first empirically illustrate the construction of accounting for sustainable development tool (Bebbington and Gray, 2001) and, second, to…

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732

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to first empirically illustrate the construction of accounting for sustainable development tool (Bebbington and Gray, 2001) and, second, to discuss the operationalization of accounting for sustainable development (Bebbington and Larrinaga, 2014).

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on a unique intervention-research approach, the main author having worked part-time for four years on the development of the tool for a business organization in the organic food sector.

Findings

This paper proposes an operationalization of sustainable development within an accounting tool and presents the results of the calculations. It also touches briefly upon the organization’s decision not to adopt the tool. The research concludes on the difficulty of operationalizing the economic, social and environmental capitals while proposing results that demonstrate “unsustainability”.

Practical implications

This research in operationalizing sustainable development paves the way for future potential use of the tool described, and future developments to address the model’s current shortcomings, notably in interconnecting social and economic capitals with natural capital.

Social implications

The non-adoption of the accounting tool raises questions about the acceptability among practitioners of visualizing the unsustainability of their own organization, in particular within “green” and “socially responsible” businesses. Moreover, it raises the question of growth and decoupling of the organization’s impact from its economic growth.

Originality/value

This paper makes three contributions to the current literature. First, it furthers the discussion on how to operationalize accounting for sustainable development, notably by trying to implement capital as a liability (a debt), placing its “maintenance” at the very heart of the design. Second, it offers an initial operationalization of “system thinking” within a tool to account for sustainable development. Finally, it contributes to the literature on “engagement research” through a four-year intervention-research project.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2018

Moez Essid and Nicolas Berland

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the organizational capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools in eight large French firms. The analysis also examines the antecedents that contributed to the emergence of those capabilities and the consequences of their involvement in terms of environmental management.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze the organizational capabilities deployed when environmental management tools are adopted, this paper takes an exploratory approach based on a qualitative study of eight large French firms.

Findings

The findings show how organizational capabilities, dynamic and ordinary, are operationalized in the adoption of environmental management tools. This operationalization is made possible by internal and external antecedents and simple and complex routines. The findings also identify two possible configurations of organizational capabilities, each one leading to a specific form of environmental management. The first configuration leads to stand-alone environmental management systems, while the second succeeds in engendering integrated management systems. This study shows that this difference is explained by heterogeneous endowments in terms of antecedents across firms.

Practical implications

The study provides useful information for managers about the conditions that favor and facilitate adoption of environmental management tools and the ways these conditions operate.

Social implications

The study illustrates the impact of society on large firms’ adoption of certain environmental management practices. It shows that external visibility – which has created strong societal pressure – is one of the external antecedents that led eight large French firms to develop specific organizational capabilities.

Originality/value

In analyzing the antecedents, routines and capabilities involved in the adoption of environmental management tools, the study adds some original, innovative contributions to current knowledge on the conditions for adoption of such tools.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2018

Emilio Boulianne, Leanne S. Keddie and Maxence Postaire

This study seeks to identify how professional accountants in France are educated in sustainability; we examine the French accounting programs in regard to sustainability…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to identify how professional accountants in France are educated in sustainability; we examine the French accounting programs in regard to sustainability accounting education recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyze a variety of documents to ascertain what comprises the typical accounting education program in France. Additionally, we conduct five interviews of various stakeholders to understand the importance of sustainability accounting and education in the French context.

Findings

We note an interesting paradox in the French context: while the government requires the reporting and auditing of corporate sustainability information, we find that sustainability is not greatly present in the government-funded French accounting education program. We determine that the government’s power in setting the education agenda combined with its budget restrictions and ability to defer responsibility to other parties has resulted in this paradox in the French setting.

Practical implications

This research draws attention to the consequences of society ignoring sustainability education for professional accountants.

Social implications

This paper contributes to the discussion on how to educate responsible professional accountants and the implications for the planet if accountants are not trained in sustainability.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the important domain of sustainability accounting education. We also explore additional implications for the accounting profession and the general public.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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