Designing environmental impact-valuation assemblages for sustainable decision-making

Authored by: Ian Thomson

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367152338
eBook ISBN: 9780367152369
Adobe ISBN:


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We exist in a time of apparently unresolvable environmental problems. If environmental management accounting is to play a meaningful role in resolving these problems, there is a need to build capacity to design environmental impact-valuation assemblages appropriate for sustainable transformation. Impacts are typically described in terms of impacting on what, impacting on whom, quantification of change, responsibility for the impact, risk and uncertainty, impacting where and when, and legitimacy of impact measurement. Each environmental impact-valuation is dependent on a series of choices on how to undertake this work. This chapter presents a framework to help make choices that avoid known pitfalls and increase the chances of more sustainable governance and decision-making. The complex process of measurement or valuation of environmental impact involves creating accounts of the consequences of a decision on selected socio-ecological systems. Paradoxically, the calculation of environmental impacts is designed to prevent them ever happening or to put in place mitigation or restorative measures.

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