Sustainability in Accounting

Topics: Sustainability, Sustainable development, Triple bottom line Pages: 8 (2367 words) Published: May 5, 2013

In nowadays, the sustainable development is playing a fundamental role in our society, and the perception of sustainable development has been well perceived. In an accounting context, the sustainability reporting has evolved into a kind of tool for an organization to show and present its Corporation Social Responsibility. Moreover, it is also the expectation for the business organization to operate in a sustainable way. In the recent researches, there are sufficient evidences show how important the sustainable development to the community? How the conventional accounting evolve into two breeds of accounting, which are social accounting and environment accounting. The limitation of sustainability reporting has been discussed in various academic researches.


In nowadays, Sustainable development is the mainstream process in modern business operation. Most of the industries are realized the business operations can no longer emphasis on short or medium term development. It should be planned and organized well under a long term strategic planning, to achieve a long term existence in communities; it also can be referred to corporation social responsibility. Despite the various definition of what is sustainability, there is a general acceptance on what is sustainability. As World Commission on Environment and Development indicate that, the sustainable development is the developments that meet the current needs of the human development, but without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.(WCED,1987). However, this is also rise a question; is Sustainable development is the matter for accountant? In order to reach the conclusion of that question, this essay wills analysis sustainable development under accounting context; to explain the role for accountants to carry out the sustainable development and why sustainable development is important; how the sustainable development related to those accounting theories, such as legitimacy theory, social contract and stakeholder theory.

Importance of the sustainable development

As mentioned in the early date 1987, the definition of the sustainable development has been well defined; it is also implicate the importance of the sustainable development for human race. in CIPFA’s report, it is stated that, the sustainable development is not only concern to protect the environment for human race, but also concern to provide the good quality and standard life for human race( CIPFA,2006). Furthermore, according to the CFSG sustainability report at 2007-2008, it is clearly indicate why the sustainable development is important to human race; nature resources are apparently is limited on our planet, and any business activity is limit physically, but if the business activity goes beyond the limitation. Even in the short or medium run the business might still able to operate but in the long term perspective, it will lead to an unsustainable situation, and eventually, the business activity will be wiped out of the community due to the dried up nature resource. Additionally, according to the legitimacy theory in Deegan’s book (2009), if the organization does not satisfy the social expectation from communities. Its business operation will eventually end up by diminishing productivity or/and demand. Meanwhile, Thomas Lewis had also given an explanation that, organization is impossible to exist in isolation, it will interact with society, if the organization is fail to respond or adjust to be legitimated, it will create a legitimacy gap and the society will refuse to accept the existence of that organization. Then the business operation will shut down in the future. Therefore, it is important to place sufficient attentions and emphasizes on sustainable development. In addition, ABB had well explained the importance of the sustainable development not only for the business entity but also for the stakeholders. ABB had concluded that in its...
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