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The last few months have seen increasing number of examples of research and development that consider the role of accounting and accounting based solutions in meeting the challenges of sustainability.

A book on True Cost Accounting (TCA) for agriculture and food systems has recently been published, co-authored by IDEEA Group Director, Carl Obst (Chapter 1 and Conclusion). These chapters consider the issues and challenges in standardising TCA approaches and in continuing to build on the current knowledge and momentum. The book as a whole is an excellent collection covering the various aspects of the TCA world. Get your copy for more.

The potential of the accounting profession to contribute positively to sustainability challenges is also a fast-moving field. This Harvard Business Review piece outlines some of the motivations and, in June 2021, the UK British Standards Institute released a standard on natural capital accounting for organisations which works well in conjunction with the standards of the SEEA.

In the wider accounting standards governance space, work is underway to establish an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to complement the International Accounting Standards Board and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

On a more practical level, research by the University of melbourne and the Melbourne Botanic Gardens supported by the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand has described the ways in which accounting practices can support sustainability reporting.