Search results

1 – 10 of 79
Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Roger L. Burritt

The purpose of this paper is to provide comment on the contribution of the Environmental performance accountability special issue of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability

6979

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide comment on the contribution of the Environmental performance accountability special issue of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal published in 1997 towards the innovation through a personal reflection developed from the perceived need to move academics and practitioners into the same space on environmental improvement by organisations. In addition, the paper will offer future directions for environmental performance accountability research, including the potential for tools such as integrated reporting, the need for theoretical pragmatism and importance of a transdisciplinary approach to research.

Design/methodology/approach

The diegetic method used for this article allowed for the provision of a narrative about actions, characters and events of interest to an audience. This method facilitated the intersection between the biographical and the historical content and context, and a hypodiegesis provided the ability for an embedded story within the larger history. The approach allowed for a hypodiegetic as the story within the story of developing the relationships between academic accountants and practitioners.

Findings

Contained in the special issue is a set of articles marking the extremes of academic and practitioner perspectives on what is broadly termed environmental performance and accountability. Review of the content of the special issue reveals that the bias is towards academic rather than practitioner appreciation. Review of the context providing the setting for the special issue shows the need for publishers to engage in the social media mechanisms needed to commence dialogue and convey the messages of academics to practitioners.

Research limitations/implications

Subjective assessment is overtly recognized rather than subsumed in the research methods adopted.

Practical implications

The embedding of articles in special issues within a broader communications portfolio for practitioner understanding is suggested.

Originality/value

The nature of the personal reflection means that thoughts recorded are novel and unique.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 May 2018

Katherine Leanne Christ, Roger L. Burritt, James Guthrie and Elaine Evans

The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of boundary-spanning organisations as intermediary institutions potentially able to close the gap between applied…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of boundary-spanning organisations as intermediary institutions potentially able to close the gap between applied research and practice in sustainability accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature reveals that boundary organisation theory provides a potential way of understanding the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the research–practice gap. The theory is applied in the context of three cases of potential boundary-spanning organisations involved with sustainability accounting – Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the International Federation of Accountants.

Findings

Findings from the three cases, which consider the application of boundary organisation theory, indicate the potential for professional accounting associations to act as sustainability accounting boundary-spanning organisations has not been realized for four main reasons. These relate to the need for finer granularity in relation to boundary objects and problem-solving; uncertainty about the range of parties to be involved as boundary-spanning organisations; the importance of reconciling views about different incentives for academics and practitioners in the sustainability accounting space; and the necessity for collaboration with other boundary-spanning organisations to address the transdisciplinary nature of sustainability accounting.

Practical implications

Development of a way of seeing the relationships between academics and practitioners in the context of sustainability accounting has two messages for practice and practitioners. First, with such complex and uncertain issues as sustainability accounting, a transdisciplinary approach to resolving problems is needed, one which involves practitioners as integral and equal members of research teams. The process should help bring applied academic and practitioner interests closer together. Second, it has to be recognised that academics conducting basic research do not seek to engage with practitioners, and for this group, the academic–practitioner gap will remain.

Social implications

Two main social implications emerge from the application of boundary organisation theory to analyse the academic–practitioner gap in the context of sustainability accounting. First, development of boundary organisations is important, as they can play a crucial role in bringing parties with an interest in sustainability accounting together in transdisciplinary teams to help solve sustainability problems. Second, collaboration is a foundation for success in the process of integrating applied researchers and practitioners, different disciplines which are relevant to solving sustainability problems and collaboration between different boundary spanning organisations with their own specialised foci.

Originality/value

This paper considers boundary organisation theory and the role of boundary-spanning organisations in the context of the complex transdisciplinary problems of sustainability accounting.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Roger L. Burritt and Stefan Schaltegger

The paper aims to discuss the current development of sustainability accounting research, the identification of critical and managerial paths, and to assess of the future…

32385

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to discuss the current development of sustainability accounting research, the identification of critical and managerial paths, and to assess of the future of sustainability accounting and reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a review of recent literature in sustainability accounting.

Findings

Assessment of recent literature leads to the conclusion that both management decision making, through problem solving and scorekeeping, and a critical approach, through awareness raising, contribute to the development of sustainability accounting and reporting; however, the development of sustainability accounting and reporting should be orientated more towards improving management decision making.

Originality/value

The paper is a systematic review of recent research developments in sustainability accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Roger L. Burritt and Stefan Schaltegger

The purpose of this paper is to explore the scope of applications and benefits of sustainability accounting for the production and industrial use of biomass as an energy…

2005

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the scope of applications and benefits of sustainability accounting for the production and industrial use of biomass as an energy source and substitute for fossil‐fuel use. As environmental degradation and unacceptable social impacts not only increase from the production and use of fossil‐fuel based energy, but also from alternative energy sources, the monitoring, controlling and measuring of the (un‐)sustainability of alternative energy production and use emerges as an area in critical need of research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a review of the issues surrounding the accounting for the (un‐)sustainability of industrial biomass production and use, considering what biomass is, the current and forecast importance of industrial biomass, different approaches to its production, and the subsequent measurement and monitoring of its potential (un‐)sustainability.

Findings

The paper finds that it is insufficient to conclude in general terms, as is often done or assumed in policy documents and statements, that industrial production and use of biomass is sustainable (or unsustainable) and that accounting for biomass must recognise the broader ecological and social system of which the production and use form a part. A further finding of the paper is that from agricultural or industrial production of biomass through to consumption and industrial use of biomass, the accounting issues surrounding biomass production and use are essential to determining its (un‐)sustainability.

Originality/value

The paper provides an overview of the importance of and problems with the production of biomass for industrial use, and related sustainability issues. It discusses possibilities for and limitations of accounting to address these sustainability issues as well as the need for and the challenges in measuring the (un‐)sustainability of biomass production for industrial use and the accounting for sustainability improvements.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Hossein Sayyadi Tooranloo and Mahdi Askari Shahamabad

Solely focusing on economic development and financial issues have led to insufficient attention to society and the environment, which has increased the injustice in this…

Abstract

Purpose

Solely focusing on economic development and financial issues have led to insufficient attention to society and the environment, which has increased the injustice in this area. Accounting can aid to compensate for this harm and improve environmental issues. That is why social and environmental accounting (SEA) is rapidly growing and evolving. However, it has not been fully implemented yet. May be one cause for this issue is the lack of identifying the factors that influence SEA implementation in all dimensions. The purpose of this paper seeks to identify these factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the existing theoretical foundations and expert opinions, the factors influencing SEA implementation were divided into seven categories, namely, accounting requirements, environmental justice, environmental responsibility, legal requirements, organizational factors, pollution control and business issues. Interpretative structural modeling and MICMAC techniques were applied to examine the relationships between these categories and model design.

Findings

The results revealed that the legal requirement dimension is one of the effective factors and which has been identified as the cause. However, the rest of the dimensions are influenced by legal requirements. As a result, as the legal requirements are considered as the foundation of establishing the model, this factor must be seriously considered for the effective implementation of the SEA.

Social implications

As the environment is not a unique environment and it has given the pivotal role of the environment in the sustainable development of communities, this leads to an increased demand for improved environmental quality. As a result, public expectations of the accounting profession to increase SEA have increased. In this paper, using the opinions of 12 environmental accounting professionals, a model for Implementation of SEA was designed to avoid social and environmental costs and damages.

Originality/value

Considering that identified factors are of great importance in the implementation of SEA, it seems that using a comprehensive framework that includes all the factors, can have a great impact on how to improve and enhance SEA. This study is the first to provide comprehensive model for SEA implementation.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1999

Lorne S. Cummings and Roger L. Burritt

To attract funding from ethical investment trusts, it is expected that investee companies will need to undertake corporate social disclosure (CSD) in annual reports. This…

Abstract

To attract funding from ethical investment trusts, it is expected that investee companies will need to undertake corporate social disclosure (CSD) in annual reports. This paper first explores the notion that companies included within the portfolio of ethical investment trusts (ETIs), are likely to provide a greater quantity of CSD than companies in which ethical trusts have not invested (NETIs). Second, the paper examines the characteristics of companies that undertake CSD, and their relationship to the ETI/NETI classification. Results from the examination of a sample of 300 Australian annual reports for 147 companies over a five‐year period (1990–1994), indicate that CSD is related to size, industry visibility, and company presence in both foreign countries and foreign stock exchanges. The significance of this paper, in addition to building upon empirical research into CSD, is that, in a range of circumstances, companies with an ethical investor as a shareholder, provide greater transparency about their social and environmental activities, than companies without an ethical investor. As a result, case can be made for the direct regulation and monitoring of ETI companies to be reduced, relative to NETIs, given that ethical investment may fulfil a market based regulatory function.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Roger L Burritt and Lome S Cummings

The purpose of this paper is to address, via a case study, some of the key measurement issues within environmental accounting, in particular the methods used to measure…

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to address, via a case study, some of the key measurement issues within environmental accounting, in particular the methods used to measure threatened and endangered wildlife. This study examines the accounts of Earth Sanctuaries Ltd, a listed conservation company in Australia over a seven year financial reporting period beginning in 1995 and ending in 2001, a period both prior and subsequent to, the implementation of Australian Accounting Standard AASB 1037 — Self Generating and Re‐Generating Assets (SGARA s), which sought to recognise the value of biological assets within financial statements. In particular the study examines these values in light of the conceptual framework qualitative characteristics of relevance and reliability. The study concludes that because of the current Commonwealth policy of non‐trade in wildlife, and the consequent absence of an active and liquid market for trade in these assets, efforts to provide legitimacy to the environmental cause are hampered, and questions raised over the surrogate measurement base used to value the assets.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Aldónio Ferreira, Carly Moulang and Bayu Hendro

Increased awareness regarding environmental issues has encouraged organisations to use environmental management accounting (EMA), which has been said to deliver many…

11948

Abstract

Purpose

Increased awareness regarding environmental issues has encouraged organisations to use environmental management accounting (EMA), which has been said to deliver many benefits to users, including an increase in innovation. There is, however, little evidence to consubstantiate this claim and thus this paper aims to investigate the issue. It also seeks to examine the role of strategy with EMA use and innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a survey designed and administered to management accountants and financial controllers in large Australian businesses.

Findings

The analysis suggests that EMA use has a positive association with process innovation, but not with product innovation. It also finds that the effect of strategy on innovation was driven by the level of commitment to research and development. However, no statistically significant relationship between strategy and EMA use was found. The key driver of EMA use was industry.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample size is the most important limitation of this study and affected the statistical power of the analysis conducted. The results need to be interpreted with caution.

Practical implications

The study suggests that EMA use is associated with process innovation, implying that economic benefits may be realised by using this technique, while simultaneously enhancing environmental performance.

Originality/value

This is the first study to provide cross‐sectional evidence of the relationship between strategy, EMA use and innovation. It is also the first to propose a research instrument to measure EMA use as a multi‐item construct.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

Roger L Burritt and Stephen Welch

Takes an exploratory approach to the development of an accountability framework for environmental performance of the Australian Commonwealth public sector. Explains that…

5096

Abstract

Takes an exploratory approach to the development of an accountability framework for environmental performance of the Australian Commonwealth public sector. Explains that the aim of the environmental performance accountability framework is for the various stakeholders to understand the actions of Commonwealth public sector organizations and consequences of those actions for ecological systems; to become familiar with the trends and changes in trends in public sector environmental performance; and to place stakeholders in a position to promote change when performance is not acceptable. Examines three interrelated strands of literature. Identifies key institutional stakeholders in the Commonwealth public sector. Synthesizes the literature related to public sector transformation, and reviews the flourishing literature on environmental accounting and reporting, and links it to the concept of environmental accountability. Drawing on this literature, explores interrelationships between three characteristics of environmental performance at the federal level in the Australian public sector: criticality of natural capital; information uncertainty; and regulatory response. Examines environmental accountability dimensions of each of these characteristics. Concludes by making three policy recommendations: first, measurement of environmental performance should focus on criticality of natural capital and informational uncertainty as bounded by the precautionary principle; second, the measures of criticality of natural capital and informational uncertainty should determine the extent of direct accountability to parliament for each public sector organization’s environmental performance; and, finally, a third party attestation of reported information is needed. Also makes some suggestions for extending this exploratory research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

Roger L Burritt and Albert Salamanca

This article explores the possibility of reducing mangrove degradation in the Philippines, and enhancing attempts to obtain wetland sustainability, through the…

Abstract

This article explores the possibility of reducing mangrove degradation in the Philippines, and enhancing attempts to obtain wetland sustainability, through the introduction of an environmental accounting system based on the opportunity cost of mangrove development. Problems relating to this form of ecological accounting are recognised; however, it is argued that it is better to attempt such an accounting, erring on the side of caution with respect to the environment, than to ignore the issue of mangrove degradation through a fear that any monetary accounting will subvert the conservation process. Following a discussion of the costs of conversion caused by development, the article considers the case for introduction of an assurance bond for developers as part of a Rubensteinian accountability mechanism. It is concluded that although an environmental accounting scheme has much to offer there are other hurdles to overcome before improved accountability for mangrove development can be facilitated in practice.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

1 – 10 of 79