Environmental Accounting for the Sustainable Corporation: Strategies and Techniques

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Corporations must decide how much to invest in the natural capital (e.g. air, water, land, and forests) that they depend upon for their economic survival. How do they project the costs of essential investments under conditions of scientific and legislative uncertainty? An innovative roadmap is laid out with the help of a case study based on the actual experiences of a forestry company that made such an attempt. Everyone interested in developing a long-range environmental strategy will find this book instructive: senior corporate management, accountants, internal auditors, academics, students, and environmentalists.

Based on the author's research for the United Nations, a new methodology is advanced to compute fuller costs. In addition to practical guidance on the theory and practice of calculating fuller costs, the author illustrates alternatives to traditional capital budgeting models. A whole range of concepts and applications are offered on natural capital; intergenerational equity; waste minimization; asset depletion rates; application of risk-management principles to costing natural capital; off-balance sheet natural assets; modern definition of profit for natural and business capital. Pioneering reporting methods for returns on investment and product costs are recommended in the concluding chapters.

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Charting a Middle Course
The Limitations of Traditional Accounting

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About the author (1994)

DANIEL BLAKE RUBENSTEIN, Principal in the Office of the Auditor General and a Chartered Accountant in Canada, has specialized in environmental accounting for sustainable development for the last five years. He has recently finalized a research project on accounting for sustainable development for the UN's Conference on Trade and Development.

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