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Corporate Reporting for Sustainable Development: Accounting for Sustainability in 2000AD

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Abstract:

The paper is principally concerned with (a) outlining the range of possibilities that exist for organisations which wish to undertake environmental and sustainability reporting and (b) suggesting particular approaches as the more desirable. But the paper also attempts to show that there is an important difference between environmental reporting and reporting for sustainability, and that, so far, efforts to encourage organisations to voluntarily undertake either have not been successful. Environmental reporting is business-centred and there are a number of practicable ways in which it can be undertaken. The most notable of these are the UN CTC approach to financial environmental reporting plus the Compliance-with-Standard Report. Reporting for sustainability is life-centred and, whatever method we adopt it is likely to show that western organisations are not currently sustainable. The concept of sustainability is widely underestimated and misused in business and political circles. This is explored and the real meaning of sustainability operationalised. Environmental reporting and sustainability reporting are shown to be essential and practicable. It is argued, however, that there is little or no prospect of widespread, systematic reporting by corporations without a major regulatory initiative.

Keywords: accounting; environmental accounting and reporting; social reporting; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327194776679782

Publication date: February 1, 1994

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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