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Social AND Environmental Accounting - Assignment Example

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Topic:  Social and Environmental Accounting Introduction Many stakeholders require social and environmental accounting. Accounting is defined as an art of recording, classifying, summarising and interpreting financial and non-financial data. This entire piece of definition is mostly taken into account by companies to make their financial and investment decisions…
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Social AND Environmental Accounting
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Download file to see previous pages Each group has its own interests; these interests are directly or indirectly affected by the activities of the companies. These stakeholders are; local communities, environmental groups such as Friends of Earth and Greenpeace, media, political and other pressure groups. Additionally, the impacts of companies’ activities have considerably increased. In the recent history, the mismanagement of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by British Petroleum (BP) has unmasked the dirty and unethical corporate practices exist; and their existence can seriously undermine the life of stakeholders. For example, BP is heavily fined over its mismanagement of oil spill. Is that fine going to bring back the same kind of environment that existed before the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Is the damage to the environment ever being repaired to its pre-oil spill level? Can we fully understand the total impacts of the oil spill over the sea life? In this single environmental disaster at the hands of BP, the entire sea life may face a threat of extinction since it is not possible at this point of time to fully comprehend the short term and long term impacts left by this environmental disaster. ...
While ensuring the corporate objectives, many companies do not give much consideration to the current and potential negative effects of their activities. Due to the recent pressures from the governments, local communities and from the environmental groups, many companies produce the reports on corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting. In which, companies mention their positive and negative impacts of their activities on social and environmental stakeholders: They try to be transparent and accountable for their activities. In their sustainability and environmental reporting, the companies also describe their current policies towards social and environmental issues. In order to show off that they care for the social and environmental stakeholders, they mention in their sustainability reporting about their current and future investments with an aim of reducing their negative impacts over society and environment. However, many critics such as Friedman (1970), find no reason to believe on their genuine and realistic resolve towards mitigating their impacts as the companies are only established to serve the objectives of their shareholders which is to increase profits for them. Their only social responsibility is to increase the wealth of their shareholders Friedman (1970); at the end of the day, they are accountable to them not to society. In the subsequent parts of this essay, first environmental accounting, and its different types are included and critical analysis is included subsequently. Environmental accounting Environmental accounting has considerably evolved and received significant attention in the field of accounting after the work of the Gray in the year of 1990(Elkington,1993). Many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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