Special Issue "Sustainability Accounting and Accountability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Enrico Bracci
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics & Management, University of Ferrara, Via Voltapaletto, 11 44121 Ferrara, Italy
Interests: accountability; performance management; public sector accounting; popular reporting; non-financial reporting; management accounting
Assist. Prof. Lucia Biondi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Studies, University of Roma Tre, via Silvio d’Amico, 77 00145 Rome, Italy
Interests: public sector accounting; heritage assets; financial and non-financial reporting; management accounting; performance management; participatory cultural initiatives; corporate social responsibility

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue calls for research covering a wide range of aspects related to sustainability accounting and its impact on accountability of for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sector organizations. The new Anthropocene era is calling for an increased awareness of the social, environmental, and economic impacts of organizational activities, and strategic and operational decision-making. Accounting and accountability practices are deeply involved in this process by systematically identifying, measuring, and representing the interlinks of the social, environmental, and economic costs and benefits and the overall sustainability.

We welcome submissions of studies that investigate all forms of sustainable accounting (e.g., carbon accounting, wellbeing accounting, environmental accounting, biodiversity accounting) and accountability (e.g., integrated reporting, non-financial disclosures, popular reporting, sustainability reporting). Of particular interest are analyses of how accounting and accountability practices affect and are affected by the drive toward sustainable development, from the social, environmental, and economic perspectives Papers can address the above topics adopting diverse methodological approaches (e.g., exploratory, explanatory, normative, critical, interpretative), and theoretical stances are welcome. Interdisciplinary papers mixing and/or combining different disciplines (e.g., accounting and ecology) are encouraged to provide insights into how accounting and accountability co-evolve under the global changes. Papers selected for this Issue may also address practice-oriented development by proposing sustainability accounting and accountability methods and tools.

Assoc. Prof. Enrico Bracci
Assist. Prof. Lucia Biondi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability accounting
  • biodiversity accounting
  • sustainable development goals
  • carbon accounting
  • integrated reporting
  • non-financial disclosure
  • wellbeing accounting and reporting
  • performance measurement
  • environmental accounting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Influences of Behavioral Intention to Engage in Environmental Accounting Practices for Corporate Sustainability: Managerial Perspectives from a Developing Country
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5266; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135266 - 29 Jun 2020
Abstract
Environmental degradation is a serious global issue that has received increasing attention from scholars, policymakers, regulators, environmental activists, and the public as a whole. In the meantime, corporations have been criticized as major contributors to environmental pollution. Environmental accounting (EA) is a corporate [...] Read more.
Environmental degradation is a serious global issue that has received increasing attention from scholars, policymakers, regulators, environmental activists, and the public as a whole. In the meantime, corporations have been criticized as major contributors to environmental pollution. Environmental accounting (EA) is a corporate practice that seeks to account for the cost of environmental impacts of business operations. However, it is questionable whether the true cost of environmental impacts of business operations is accounted for in the conventional accounting systems. In order to shed more light on this issue, this study examines key drivers of managerial intention to engage in EA practices in Sri Lanka. We employ the theory of planned behavior to conceptualize the antecedents of managers’ intention to engage in EA practices. The results of the partial least square structural equation model (PLS-SEM) evaluation revealed that managers’ intention is significantly influenced by the attitudes towards EA practices, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. Our results also indicate that a larger proportion of the variance of perceived behavioral control is explained by the perceived cost and complexity, perceived regulatory pressure, and organizational environmental orientation. The findings of this study provide important theoretical and practical implications for scholars, managers, and policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Accounting and Accountability)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality and Diffusion of Social and Sustainability Reporting in Italian Public Utility Companies
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4525; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114525 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
In recent decades, non-financial reporting has been widely debated in the literature relating to both public and private sectors. Non-financial reporting is used to increase accountability and transparency, and to adapt to external pressures and stakeholder expectations. The focus on external factors, i.e., [...] Read more.
In recent decades, non-financial reporting has been widely debated in the literature relating to both public and private sectors. Non-financial reporting is used to increase accountability and transparency, and to adapt to external pressures and stakeholder expectations. The focus on external factors, i.e., transparency and stakeholders, has largely precluded research into the quality of non-financial reporting. Nevertheless, the quality and reliability of sustainability reports have been widely questioned in the literature. Non-financial reporting may provide purely symbolic actions to manage expectations. This paper analyzes the level of diffusion and quality of non-financial reporting tools in the public utility sector. We use the principles of the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) framework to measure quality, i.e., clarity and accuracy, timeliness and stakeholder engagement, comparability, and reliability. We use a qualitative exploratory approach with a mix of primary and secondary sources. The results show that despite the increasing use of non-financial reporting in organizational life, it is not diffused within public utilities. We address the issue of quality, and find that, overall, the accuracy/clarity and comparability of non-financial reporting is satisfactory; timeliness and stakeholder engagement appear to be acceptable, while reliability does not appear to be acceptable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Accounting and Accountability)
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Open AccessCase Report
Natural Capital Accounting for Land in Rwanda
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125070 - 22 Jun 2020
Abstract
Land, as a valuable natural resource, is an important pillar of Rwanda’s sustainable development. The majority of Rwanda’s 80% rural population rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and land is crucial for agriculture. However, since a high population density has made land a [...] Read more.
Land, as a valuable natural resource, is an important pillar of Rwanda’s sustainable development. The majority of Rwanda’s 80% rural population rely on agriculture for their livelihood, and land is crucial for agriculture. However, since a high population density has made land a scarce commodity, growth in the agricultural sector and plans for rapid urbanisation are being constrained, and cross-sectoral trade-offs are becoming increasingly important, with a risk that long-term sustainability may be threatened if these trade-offs are not considered. To help track land value trends and assess trade-offs, and to help assess the sustainability of trends in land use and land cover, Rwanda has begun developing natural capital accounts for land in keeping with the United Nations’ System of Environmental-Economic Accounting. This paper reports on Rwanda’s progress with these accounts. The accounting approach adopted in our study measures changes in land use and land cover and quantifies stocks for the period under study (2014–2015). Rwanda is one of the first developing countries to develop natural capital accounts for land, but the wide range of possible uses in policy analysis suggests that such accounts could be useful for other countries as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Accounting and Accountability)
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