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The accountant will have a central role in saving the planet … really? A reflection on ‘green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later’


Deegan, C, The accountant will have a central role in saving the planet really? A reflection on green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later', Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 24, (6) pp. 448-458. ISSN 1045-2354 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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DOI: doi:10.1016/


There is widespread but not universal acceptance that organisations should provide ‘accounts’ of not only their financial performance, but also of their social and environmental performance. There have also been various suggestions across time that traditional financial reporting frameworks, albeit with some modification, have relevance to calls for greater corporate accountability. This paper seeks to dismiss such suggestions. For the accounting profession to be able to meaningfully contribute to extending accountability beyond investors, lenders, and creditors (and it undoubtedly serves these interests well) it will need to abandon many core accounting conventions and principles – something that is deemed unlikely to occur – at least in the readers’ lifetime. This paper also highlights the apparent absurdity of using market-based mechanisms (such as cap-and-trade systems for pollutants) to solve social and environmental problems that were effectively caused by ‘the market’. Having questioned the role of the accounting profession in contributing to broad-based corporate accountability, the paper concludes by questioning the role of accounting and business educators in instilling some form of personal social responsibility in the minds of students.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:environmental, social, sustainability
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting theory and standards
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services
UTAS Author:Deegan, C (Mr Craig Deegan)
ID Code:138432
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Accounting and Corporate Governance
Deposited On:2020-04-08
Last Modified:2021-07-02

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