Fifty Years of Sustainability Accounting: Does Accounting for Income in Business Sustainability Really Exist?

Mona ABOU TALEB, Brian Gibson, Martin Hovey


The major challenges faced in the area of accounting for sustainability are the complexity and uncertainty of the subject matter, specially the lack of a clearly understood definition of sustainable development (SD). Further, the aspect of economic or income sustainability is one of the important measures of SD that can be achieved through the implementation of the concept of environmental management accounting (EMA). However, by taking an overview through the literature of accounting for business sustainability, the outcome of this paper indicates that the majority of literature on the financial or economic aspects of business sustainability focuses on the cost side and how to measure it either in monetary units or in non-monetary units while totally neglecting the revenue side either for business, environment, or society.

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