Highlights – Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Volume 6 issue 2

By Carol A Adams, Editor, SAMPJ

This issue of SAMPJ includes seven research articles concerned with sustainability accounting, management and policy.  It comes amidst exciting news that the journal has been given a rating of 2 on the Association of Business Schools journal list.

agriculture shutterstock_177535868Ogilvy (2015) develops an Ecological Balance Sheet as a means of managing ecological assets and their impact on economic inflows and outflows in primary industries. Ogilvy uses the term ‘ecological capital’ to refer to agricultural ecosystems which are modified and manipulated by humans.  She clearly articulates how Agricultural Ecological Capital Assets interact with a range of other capitals including natural, social, human and financial capital and imagines how ecological accounting might record these flows of capital.  She critiques the extent to which International Accounting Standards 2, 16 and 41 adequately account for ecological assets.

Muttakin and  Subramaniam (2015) find that independent directors have a positive impact on the extent of CSR disclosures.  They examined disclosures of the top 100 companies on the Bombay stock exchange over a five year period and also found that community disclosures increased with government ownership and reporting on environmental and employee issues increases with foreign ownership. In their conclusions, the authors draw out a number of policy and theoretical implications of their study.

The study by Haque and Azmat (2015) is important for companies in the ready-made garments industry. The authors examine two leading Bangladeshi newspapers over a year to identify material CSR issues as well as examining the academic literature.  They identify eight material CSR issues for the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh and thus, I would argue, potential ESG risks to companies who buy from them.  The industry’s approach to profit maximisation may end up being a road to business failure if their customers deem the risks too high to buy. The authors argue that the predatory nature of globalisation is to blame for serious labour rights abuses and other CSR issues – along with a lack of regulatory intervention to keep it in check.

Robertson and Samy (2015) look at the problems of current reporting practices and consider the likely adoption of integrated reporting.  They used content analysis of 22 UK FTSE 100 annual and sustainability reports and interviews with ten senior managers to determine their perceptions of sustainability reporting practices and integrated reporting.  They found that senior managers perceive integrated reporting to have relative advantages over sustainability reporting.  In particular they found a lack of linkages between annual and sustainability reporting.  The research suggests that integrated reporting has a relative advantage in embedding sustainability into organisational practices.  The findings are discussed using a Diffusion of Innovation theory framework.

Camilleri (2015) reviews recent EU regulations on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures and critically assess their incorporation in to member state legislation.  The author shares some initial thoughts on the impact of these regulations on the organisations to which they apply and points to the need for further research.

Dillard and Brown (2015) review research in agnostic dialogic accounting.  They discuss the ethic of accountability and studies applying science and technology and consider the role of interdisciplinary work in broadening our thinking on the possibilities of accounting and accountability systems in social change.

Williams (2015) reports on a survey and interviews to determine the perspective of local government accountants on their involvement in sustainability reporting.  She finds that accountants have less involvement than they think they ought to have in sustainability reporting and considers the reasons why.

References

Ogilvy, S (2015) Developing the ecological balance sheet for agricultural sustainability, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Muttakin, M and  Subramaniam, N (2015) Firm ownership and board characteristics: do they matter for corporate social responsibility disclosure of Indian companies? Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Haque, M and  Azmat, F (2015) Corporate social responsibility, economic globalization and developing countries: a case study of the ready-made garments industry in Bangladesh, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Robertson, F and Samy, M (2015) Factors affecting the diffusion of integrated reporting – A UK FTSE 100 perspective. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Camilleri, M (2015) Environmental, social and governance disclosures in Europe, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Dillard, J and Brown, J (2015) Broadening out and opening up:  an agonistic attitude toward progressive social accounting, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Williams, B (2015) The local government accountants’ perspective on sustainability, Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 6, Issue 2

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

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  1. It feels as though we are getting close to the point where we can effectively connect the data sets that underpin this flow mapping around the places that they have most impact. When communities can see the economic and social costs and impacts that are consequent from choices they and others make, the jobs and resources freed up by better working might become more attractive than the status quo.

    Welsh Government’s recent passing of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill and drafting of the Environment Bill create the foundations for a new, informed decision making where environmental, health, social, economic and resource impacts are connected around place. That could, if the wind is behind us, allow for participative democracy to grow a notch or two.

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