Practical Insights book

Accounting for Sustainability: Practical Insights bookAlthough sustainability accounting has developed in recent years, relatively few organizations have comprehensive systems and procedures to ensure that sustainability considerations are taken into account fully and consistently in decision-making and reporting.

This book presents examples of how organizations have used these accounting for sustainability tools and principles to embed sustainability into their DNA.

The book was published in June 2010 and can be ordered at the Routledge website.  A summary of key insights from this research can be found by clicking here.

Key features include:

  • practitioner-oriented illustrations of ‘connected / integrated thinking’ between the organization’s sustainability agenda, overall strategy and core business activities;
  • examples of processes that have been followed to enable sustainability issues to be taken into account clearly and consistently in strategic and day-to-day decision-making;
  • examination of how the embedding of sustainability extends beyond an organization’s own boundaries to take into account suppliers and customers;
  • examples of how to measure sustainability performance and financial impacts and the systems and processes necessary to support the collection of relevant data; and
  • identification of barriers to embedding sustainability and ways in which organizations have sought to address and overcome these.

In-depth cases studies from Aviva, BT, the Environment Agency, EDF Energy, HSBC, Novo Nordisk, Sainsbury’s and West Sussex County Council paint a rich picture of accounting for sustainability in practice and a wealth of lessons and examples of both common pitfalls and good practice.

These case studies were developed by working with a team of leading business and management academic researchers.


The researchers, led by Professor Anthony Hopwood (Oxford University) and Professor Jeffrey Unerman (Royal Holloway, University of London) analyzed the extent to which sustainability information has been embedded into the regular operations of the organizations, thus supporting the work of the Project to move sustainable decision-making into the mainstream.

The cases include how some of the organizations have applied the Connected Reporting Framework (developed by the project in December 2007) and how this application links to internal decision-making.

The academics who participated in the study are:

  • Professor David Otley, Dr Martin Brigham and Vicky Kiosse (Lancaster University Management School);
  • Professor Al Bhimani and Dr Kazbi Soonawalla (London School of Economics);
  • Professor Dave Owen and Dr Suzana Grubnic (Nottingham University Business School);
  • Dr Laura Spence and Dr Leonardo Rinaldi (Royal Holloway, University of London);
  • Dr Geogios Georgakopolous (University of Amsterdam Business School);
  • Professor John Burns and Dr Colin Dey (University of Dundee);
  • Linda Lewis (University of Sheffield);
  • Ian Thomson (University of Strathclyde); and,
  • Professor Jeffrey Unerman (Manchester Business School) and Professor Brendan O’Dwyer (University of Amsterdam Business School)

This book is indispensible for all business leaders, accountancy professionals and others seeking to embed sustainability into the DNA of their organizations in the pursuit of both better business and better sustainability performance.

The book was published in June 2010 and can be ordered at the Routledge website. A summary of key insights from this research can be found by clicking here.