A Philosophical Thought on Sustainability Accounting

I Putu Sudana, Eko Ganis Sukoharsono, Unti Ludigdo, Gugus Irianto


The purpose of this study is to discover a philosophical thought on sustainable development as foundation for sustainability accounting. By defining sustainability accounting as new accounting policies and practices which is adopting sustainability concept, understanding the philosophical thought becomes an imperative task for accounting discipline. Sustainable development requires involvement of any business entities. Accordingly, accounting profession should response to the movement seriously, since accounting takes place in the center of business information system. This study utilizes a qualitative content analysis to examine ideological mind-sets and themes contained in textual data. Data are further classified using a taxonomy based on Fay’s basic scheme of critical social science. Results of the study indicate that the philosophical thought on sustainable development consists of four integrated themes, i.e.: human beings and development; the interlocking crises and ecosystem degradation; system thinking and human consciousness; and transformation toward harmonization through integration. The philosophical thought could enlighten in developing sustainability accounting policies and practices. As practical guidance, sustainable development accountability should consist of economic, social and environmental accountabilities. Accounting report as a part of sustainability accounting practices could preserve the business entities’ conformance to that spirit more comprehensively.

Keywords: philosophical thought, sustainability accounting, sustainable development.

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