Accounting for Sustainability : Practical Insights book cover
1st Edition

Accounting for Sustainability
Practical Insights

ISBN 9781849710671
Published June 23, 2010 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

If businesses and other organizations are to meet the many and complex challenges of sustainable development, then they all, both public and private, need to embed sustainability considerations into their decision-making and reporting. However, the translation of this aspiration into effective action is often inhibited by the lack of systems and procedures that take sustainability into account.

Accounting for Sustainability: Practical Insights will help organizations to address these issues. The book sets out a number of tools and approaches that have been developed and applied by leading organizations to:

  • Embed sustainability into decision-making, extending beyond an organization's boundaries to take into account suppliers, customers and other stakeholders
  • Measure and link sustainability and financial performance
  • Integrate sustainability into 'mainstream' reporting, both to management and external stakeholders

In-depth cases studies from Aviva, BT, the Environment Agency, EDF Energy, HSBC, Novo Nordisk, Sainsbury's and West Sussex County Council show in detail how accounting for sustainability works in practice in a wide range of organizational contexts. Published with The Prince's Charities: Accounting for Sustainability

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project: Creating 21st Century Decision-Making and Reporting Systems to Respond to 21st Century Challenges and Opportunities  3. Sainsbury's: Embedding Sustainability in the Supermarket Supply Chain  4. Using the Connected Reporting Framework as a Driver of Change within EDF Energy  5. A Golden Thread for Embedding Sustainability in a Local Government Context: The Case of West Sussex County Council  6. Building from the Bottom, Inspired from the Top: Accounting for Sustainability and the Environment Agency  7. Evolution of Risk, Opportunity and the Business Case in Embedding Connected Reporting at BT  8. Sustainability and Organizational Connectivity at HSBC  9. 'One Aviva, Twice the Value': Connecting Sustainability at Aviva PLC  10. Integrated Reporting at Novo Nordisk  11. Conclusions

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Anthony Hopwood is a world-leading academic in the field of accounting. A former Dean and Professor at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, UK, he was inducted into the USA's Accounting Hall of Fame in 2008

Jeffrey Unerman is Professor of Accounting and Accountability at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, UK. He has a long standing research record in sustainability accounting

Jessica Fries is Project Director of The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project, on secondment from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She has worked with companies over many years to help them integrate sustainability into mainstream business practices. The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project was launched by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in 2004 'To help ensure that sustainability - considering what we do not only in terms of ourselves and today, but also of others and tomorrow - is not just talked and worried about, but becomes embedded in organizations' 'DNA'. The Project works with businesses, investors, the public sector, accounting bodies, NGOs and academics to develop practical guidance and tools for embedding sustainability into decision-making and reporting processes


'A rich and diverse collection of case studies to help all those organizations looking for a practical way of addressing the major challenges and risks posed by sustainability-related issues.'

Charles Tilley, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

'A good overview of the challenges and dilemmas companies face as they evolve their sustainability thinking ... a useful addition to the body of emerging knowledge in this space.'

Elaine Cohen, Sustainability Consultant and Reporter at Beyond Business, for CSRWire

'This fascinating book presents a great opportunity for pro-active quality professionals to rise beyond our roots and contribute to mankind's future... an inspiring book that I would thoroughly recommend reading.'

Qualityworld Magazine

'Most companies still don't have a clue about the full extent of their impacts on the environment - let alone the full monetized cost of those impacts. The eight case studies provide an invaluable starting point in terms of accounting more intelligently for those impacts.'

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

'A comprehensive and wide-ranging series of case studies that collectively make the business case for connected reporting, while providing a rich source of practical advice on how to make sustainability part of an organization's DNA.'

Lord Sharman of Redlynch OBE, Chairman, Aviva PLC

'Increasingly, a company's market value reflects the value attributed by investors to people, knowledge, trust and relationships, none of which are visible in traditional financial and management information. Accounting for Sustainability is a thoughtful assessment of how we can develop accounting and reporting to better reflect what is material to assessing corporate performance today.'

Lise Kingo, Executive Vice President, Novo Nordisk Ltd

'The Connected Reporting Framework is the most practical way of reporting an organization's strategic approach to sustainability available today. This publication will provide helpful guidance to anyone keen to learn from early adopters of the methodology.'

Sir Michael Rake, Chairman, BT Group PLC

'All too often when discussing sustainability issues the focus is on performance reporting and assurance - whilst the real focus of our attention really ought to be the embedding of sustainability principles, resulting in real change. This text provides excellent examples of real change in action and will be of interest to a broad spectrum of managers and accounting professionals.'

Helen Brand, Chief Executive, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

'This book is a significant contribution to the practice of sustainability, demonstrating why and how it can be embedded in an organization's thinking and action. This is done through a series of very perceptive case studies that move us beyond the theoretical to the practical.'

Michael Izza, Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

'This book provides major learning points on how environmental sustainability can be embedded in organizations and reported on, and the issues likely to arise. This should significantly reduce any 'reinventing the wheel' in embedding sustainability in corporate culture.'

Alan Thomson, President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland