Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: Accounting for society and the environment – new book

Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability: accounting for society and the environment is a new book written for accounting/ business /sustainability professionals, scholars, researchers and policy makers who recognise the central role that organisations, accounting, finance, accountability and management play in the future well-being of society, communities, our planet and companies themselves.  It is for those who want to be part of doing things differently.

The book sheds light on the broad and complicated interactions between organisational life, civil society, markets, inequality and environmental degradation through the lens(es) of accounting, accountability, responsibility and sustainability. It starts from the point that it is increasingly urgent for all organisations to face – honestly – what environmental management, accountability CSR and sustainability can do for (and to) (the relationship between) organisations, society and the environment.

Following introductory chapters covering the history and theories of accountability, social responsibility and sustainability practice in organisations, the book considers developments in accountability and social responsibility for: social and community issues; employees and unions; environmental issues; and, finance and financial issues.  It also addresses: sustainability reporting; the social audit movement; governance, attestation and institutional issues; and, accountability and sustainability in the public sector and not for profit organisations.

Finally, the book considers where practice and research might go in the future to further improve the business/society/environment relationship in a way which prioritizes people and planet – without which business cannot exist.

Accountability, Social Responsibility and Sustainability synthesizes key literature and analyses innovative, changing and inadequate practices.  It is a call for change that both makes the case for change and points to how it can be achieved.  It supersedes Accounting and AccountAbility: Changes and Challenges in Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting published in 1996.  The contribution of that book to the literature is evidenced by the fact it has been cited by researchers over 1,200 times.  Since its publication research, practice and policy have moved on considerably and the new book is a complete rewrite.

Reviews of this book

Published reviews of this book:

Jesse Dillard, (2015) Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6 Iss: 3, pp. 439 – 441

Suzana Grubnic, (2014) Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, Vol. 34 Iss: 3, pp. 193 – 194

About the authors

It is written by Rob Gray, Carol Adams and Dave Owen.  The authors are amongst the most cited and published authors in their field. But aside from that they have been involved in judging sustainability reports, developing sustainability reporting frameworks, advisory work, supervising PhDs, teaching and one has held a senior sustainability management and leadership role.

Rob Gray is Professor of Social and Environmental Accounting at the University of St Andrews. He founded the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) and was its Director from its inception in 1991 until 2012. Carol Adams‘ bio details are here.  Dave Owen is an Emeritus Professor at the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (Nottingham University Business School).

Orders for the book can be placed here or at your bookshop. 

Additional resource: Learning and Teaching Sustainability

Adams_LRYou might also like Understanding Integrated Reporting: the concise guide to integrated thinking and the future of corporate reporting

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