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Social and Environmental Issues

Social and Environmental Issues

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An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Tom Sutton. Originally submitted for LC211 at Limerick Institute of Technology, with lecturer Michael Sheehan in the category of Business
An essay for the 2011 Undergraduate Awards (Ireland) Competition by Tom Sutton. Originally submitted for LC211 at Limerick Institute of Technology, with lecturer Michael Sheehan in the category of Business

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/27/2013

 
 
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SocialAndEnvironmentalIssues
 
 
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Table of Contents
Introduction pg3History pg4Is there a need for social and environmentalaccounting? Pg5Standards Pg5-6Regulation Pg7Social Accounting Pg8Environmental Accounting Pg9Environmental Disclosures Pg9-10SEA Education Pg11
What‟s the future
of social and environmentalaccounting? Pg12Conclusion Pg13Bibliography Pg14-16Appendices
 
 
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Today, there are calls for corporations to be environmentally responsible and to besocially aware of their stakeholders. Environmental and social issues have been growing inthe minds of both communities and businesses
(O‟ Donovan
, 2002). Environment is gainingmore attention than ever. Gibson (1997) suggests that businesses through their goals of maximising profits and their greediness can harm the environment we live in. It results in
companies created externalities. They can “arise whether an individual/ firm undertakes anaction that has an effect on another individual …..for which the latter does not pay or is paid”
(Stiglitz, 2000, pg216). Examples of externalities include all forms of pollution. This hasincrease pressure for organisations to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) into theirframework.
Corporate social responsibility is the way that makes companies account for actionstowards society and the environment.
(Dey 2007 pg423-445). Examples of companiesbenefiting from applying corporate social responsibility to its business model are Ben &
Jerry‟s Ice Cream and Bodyshop.
 
Ben & Jerry‟s
do an environmental and assessment reportannually and is seen to the public on their website.(http://www.benjerry.com/) This has force accountants, who play a key role in companies decision-makingprocess, to be more socially and environmentally conscious of corporation activities. This haslead to the development of Social and Environmental Accounting (SEA).
It‟s the “the process of communicating the social and environmental effects of organizations‟ economic
actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at
large.” (Gray, Owen,
Maunders 1987 pg 9)Social and environmental issues must be accounted for. Accountants should beinvolved in helping and doing their bit for the environment. (Boyce, 2000). The number of environmental pressures that face organisations today is increasing in numbers (Medley1997). According
to ACCA study, it stated that “s
ocially or environmentally destructivecompanies must not be part of our future.
(J:\RR57)More companies are using and applying
“the triple bottom line”
which was linkingcompanies financial, social and environmental performance sustainable development
(Elkington, 1999, O‟ Donovan, 2002)
 

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