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Sustainability at stake during COVID-19: Exploring the role of accounting in addressing environmental crises

Charles H. Cho, Juliette Senn and Madlen Sobkowiak

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2022, vol. 82, issue C

Abstract: In this paper, we reflect and provide insights on the environmental implications of post-COVID-19 economic recoveries. More specifically, we highlight the connection(s) between the environment and the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the intertwined links between Mother Nature and the virus. We then raise some concerns about the ‘illusionary’ positive and negative effects of the crisis on the environment before evoking some past lessons about crisis management and recovery. We contend that the current accounting and accountability mechanisms employed in economic stimulus programs, as well as traditional environmental accounting approaches, are inadequate and limiting to achieve long-term sustainability change. The paper concludes by offering accounting practitioners and researchers some possibilities to take a step forward and develop new understandings of social and environmental value consistent with ecological principles and sustainable development—and hope that these reflections will contribute to a broader debate on the role of accounting for sustainable development in the Anthropocene.

Keywords: Environmental crisis; COVID-19; Social and environmental accounting; Accountability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:82:y:2022:i:c:s1045235421000460

DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2021.102327

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