Sustainable Accounting


Nazik Roufaiel, Center for Distance Learning, SUNY Empire State College writes:

“Financial Accounting, as stand-along financial measurements, does not take into account all aspects of value in business settings. What companies may value and stand for, as perceived by stakeholders, has become more important than what they produce or sell. Implementing a value driven risk management strategy and culture that is aware of the impact on the planet, people, employees, and society may position a business, positively, in a leading conscientious and competitive green environment.”

“The rising awareness of being eco-friendly and its positive impact on business profitability, have contributed to innovation processes of new products, conservation of earth natural resources, and reducing wastes and pollution, which are all reflected in cost reduction and increasing profitability. Therefore, the discipline of cost management has evolved around innovative methods in measuring and disclosing a business performance relevant to resources conservation, lowering spoilage and materials evaporation, employees’ safety, hazardous product and by-product control and improper waste dumping. Moreover, accounting for contingent liability for non-compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) law and regulations, has been taking a broader dimension of disclosure and transparency.”

“Accounting for environment or green accounting has become a major interesting field by all accountants for its implication on cost and revenue, and related topics such as Federal and state taxation [penalty for violation is not tax deductible expenses, while prevention cost is], cost and risk management, market expansion, international mergers and acquisitions, portfolio management and investment, auditing, financial disclosure and reporting, and overall business sustainability and value maximization. Accounting is not only concerned with past performance but also of business continuity. It is a topic that you should be aware of as a manager, business owner, investor, government employee, or even an individual to articulate the non-financial risk and opportunities that affect a business’ ability to create long-term sustainable viability and survive global competitive markets.”

Below is a list of resources on this topic. Find a more complete list of resources with links for learning and teaching about this topic on our Pinterest site:Follow Sustainability Education’s board Sustainable Accounting on Pinterest.


Accounting for Environmental Cost, Richard Macve

Web Resources

Sustainable Accounting Standard Board

System of Environmental-Economic Accounting

An Introduction to Environmental Accounting As a Business Management Tool: Key Concepts and Terms from

The United State Environmental Protection Agency has a number of great resources for environmental, or “green” accounting. search “green accounting”