Accounting, Governance and Risk Research Group Seminar Series

Building an Ark of Extinction Accounting and Accountability

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This session is delivered by Professor Jill Atkins, Sheffield University Management School. 

We are currently experiencing what is often called the sixth period of mass extinction on planet Earth, caused undoubtedly by the impact of human activities and businesses on nature. In this paper we explore the potential for accounting and corporate accountability to contribute to extinction prevention.

  • From: Wednesday 29 March 2017, 1 pm
  • To: Wednesday 29 March 2017, 2.30 pm
  • Location: N35, Newton building, Main Entrance, Nottingham Trent University, City Campus, Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU

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Abstract: We are currently experiencing what is often called the sixth period of mass extinction on planet Earth, caused undoubtedly by the impact of human activities and businesses on nature. In this paper we explore the potential for accounting and corporate accountability to contribute to extinction prevention. The paper adopts an interdisciplinary approach, weaving scientific evidence and theory into corporate reporting in order to demonstrate linkages between extinction, business behaviour and accounting as well as to provide a basis for developing a framework for accounting and narrative reporting on extinction prevention. The paper is essentially theoretical in approach, seeking to bring together scientific theories of extinction with a need for corporate accountability whilst recognising philosophical concerns in the extant environmental accounting literature about accepting any business roles in ecological matters. Our overarching framework derives from the concept of emancipatory accounting. The outcome of the writing is to present (a) an emancipatory extinction accounting framework which can be embedded within corporate annual or integrated reports, and (b) a diagrammatic representation, in the form of an ‘ark’, of accounting and accountability mechanisms which, combined, can assist, we argue, in preventing extinction. We suggest that the emancipatory framework may also be used in NGO and responsible investor engagement with companies on wildlife and species protection. This is the first comprehensive attempt to explore the emancipatory role of accounting in extinction prevention and to bring together the linkages in accounting and accountability mechanisms which, working together, can prevent species extinction.

About the author: Jill Atkins holds a Chair in Financial Management at Sheffield University Management School and is also a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She previously worked as a professor at Henley Business School and King’s College London. Her research focuses on responsible investment, stakeholder accountability, social accounting, integrated reporting and corporate governance. Jill chairs the British Accounting & Finance Association’s Special Interest Group on Corporate Governance and enjoys organising conferences which bring together governance specialists from the academia, corporate and investor communities. She has recently co-edited a book on The Business of Bees: An Integrated Approach to Bee Decline and Corporate Responsibility as part of a long-term project investigating the role of accounting and responsible investment in preserving biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change on business. Jill’s leading textbook, Corporate Governance and Accountability, is in its 4th edition.

Booking information

For more information and to book your place at this event, please email Musa Mangena.

Location details

Room/Building:

N35, Newton building, Main Entrance

Address:

Nottingham Trent University
City Campus
Goldsmith Street
Nottingham
NG1 4BU

Past event

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