Corporate Environmental Reporting: The Western Approach to Nature, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Corporate Environmental Reporting

The Western Approach to Nature, 1st Edition

By Leanne J Morrison

Routledge

208 pages

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Hardback: 9781138337213
pub: 2019-07-25
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Description

This book explores corporate environmental discourse by examining a sample of corporate environmental reports through the lens of environmental philosophy. Findings include the predominant use of a dualistic approach towards nature, which highlights the perceived ‘separateness’ of companies from the natural world. Also explored are the corporate articulations of interconnectivity and transcendence, two philosophical approaches that are also in common use in western culture. The expression of these themes reveals the discursive underpinnings of a harmful relationship with nature. Exploring the ways in which discourse informs corporate relationships with nature allows for an in depth ‘diagnosis’ of current environmental problems.

The history of environmental philosophy demonstrates how some powerful philosophical approaches have shaped the western relationship with nature over time, and continue to do so through corporate environmental reporting. Corporate Environmental Reporting: The Western Approach to Nature demonstrates how corporate reporting is used to reduces the perception of the corporate responsibility, and contributes to the erosion of broader cultural restraints against the harmful treatment of nature. As such, discourse is integral to the survival of the world which we – and other members of our biotic community – are utterly reliant on. It shows the latest state of knowledge on the topic and will be of interest both to students at an advanced level, academics and reflective practitioners. It will be of interest to researchers, academics, and students in the fields of accounting, management, environmental philosophy, and sustainable management

Reviews

"This book offers an in-depth look at the discourse underpinning Western corporate reporting. It provides a much-needed reminder to environmental reporting researchers that they need to consider the philosophical roots of what they are investigating. While a fascinating read, the book provides a sad indictment of the state of most environmental reporting which presents the natural world as separate, and therefore not something for which it has any responsibility. While environmental reporting has come a long way and is becoming almost commonplace, the study presented in this book suggests that corporate entities are still fundamentally antagonistic towards the natural world." –Carol Tilt, University of South Australia, Australia

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 Western Environmental Discourse and the Corporate Report

Introduction

Background

Research Problem and Objectives

Outline of book

Summary

Chapter 2 Western Environmental Philosophy

Impacts of western environmental philosophy

The role of social construction

Western culture

A history

Western environmental philosophies

Intrinsic and instrumental values

Ecofeminism

Deep ecology

Aristotelian ethics

Fundamental issues in western environmental philosophy

Immanence

Interconnectivity

Dualism

Enlightenment thought

Modernism

Transcendence

Summary

Chapter 3 Corporate Reporting

Introduction

Social construction through accounting

Accounting as discourse

Accounting and sustainability reporting

Sustainability and environmental reporting

Corporate environmental reporting

Environmental reporting as stakeholder engagement

Accountability and transparency

A critical approach

Link to western environmental philosophies

Summary

 

Chapter 4 Operationalising Critique

Introduction

Methodology

A qualitative approach

A historical perspective

A critical approach

Critical discourse analysis

The discourse

Environmental reports

Written word

Images

Other discursive mechanisms

Interviews

Analysing the discourse

Metaphor

Ideology

Hegemony

Discourse groupings

Dualism

Ontology of discrete objects

Dualistic anthropocentrism

Dualistic hierarchy

The human nature divide

Transcendence

Physical world less valued than the transcendent

Seeing physical world from afar

Transcendent anthropocentrism

Interconnectivity

Connections between subjects

Humans as part of nature

Nature intrinsically valued

Application of discourse groupings

Summary

Chapter 5 Predominant corporate philosophical approaches

Introduction

Multiple case studies

The environmental reports

Interviews

Zeta

Zeta environmental reports

Zeta interview

Gamma

Gamma environmental reports

Gamma interview

Beta

Beta environmental reports

Beta interview

Phi

Phi environmental reports

Phi interview

Delta

Delta environmental reports

Delta interview

Alpha

Alpha environmental reports

Alpha interview

Kappa

Kappa environmental reports

Kappa interview

Psi

Psi environmental reports

Psi interview

Theta

Theta environmental reports

Theta interview

Sigma

Sigma environmental reports

Sigma interview

Comparison

Chapter 6 Prevalent Discursive Mechanisms

Introduction

Discursive motifs

Prevalent discursive mechanisms

Dualism

Use of charts, graphs and tables

Focus on numbers

Financial language

Materiality

Nature as a resource

Offsets

Images minimising apparent impact

Carbon accounting

Carbon neutrality

Environmental risk

Awards, self-congratulatory

Images which conflict with the surrounding text

Direction of readers’ attention away from the report

Regulatory focus

Positive contribution to the environment

Transcendence

Focus on profit

Management of the environment – EMS & ISO 14000

Interconnectivity

Recycling

Specific geographies

Case studies

Supply chain and LCA

Influence

Impact of nature on business

Leadership

Summary

Chapter 7 Unravelling the Discourse

Introduction

Major findings

Analytical themes

Dualism

Dualism in context

Transcendence

Transcendence in context

Interconnectivity

Interconnectivity in context

Meaning and importance of findings

Meaning of other findings

Practical implications

How these findings relate to prior literature

Social constructionism

Western environmental philosophy

Corporate environmental reporting

Link to theory

Alternative explanations

Relevance of findings

Summary

Chapter 8 Reflecting on the discourse of the corporate report

Introduction

Background

Environmental philosophies

Methodology

Major findings

Contribution of research

Limitations

Suggestions for further research

Summary

Index

About the Author

Dr Leanne J Morrison is a lecturer at the RMIT School of Accounting, Melbourne, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Accounting

This series explores the roles of Accounting and Accounting theory in the modern world. The series examines research in accounting thought, practice, auditing, principles and ethics as well as international standards and regulation setting. Examining private, public and non-profit sectors, Routledge Studies in Accounting, seeks to advance the scholarly debate by providing cutting edge and insightful research

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS001000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / General
BUS001010
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / Financial
BUS001040
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / Managerial