Delve: Why Accounting Holds the Key to Successful Sustainability Initiatives, with Brian Wenzel
What does accounting have to do with sustainability? Essentially, everything. Just as research and regulations around sustainability have expanded in recent years, so has sustainability accounting, focusing on activities of an organization that have a direct impact on its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects.
On the Delve podcast, in light of the upcoming McGill Accounting Research Conference (MARC), McGill Desautels Assistant Professor in Accounting Brian Wenzel discusses the roles of accounting and accounting research in facilitating how organizations reach their sustainability goals. For one, sustainability approaches and new global standards could be integrated into accounting practices to encompass all aspects of an organization’s performance, from the big picture to the bottom line.
“Accounting perhaps has been part of the problem with sustainability because accounting has led to short-termism inside organizations,” says Wenzel. “Next quarter’s profits are much more tangible than something that will happen five or 10 years down the road. Even if making a sacrifice now will lead to a greater good in a decade, that's harder to quantify because it's so far in the future. Accounting maybe has been part of the problem but could also solve it.”
Founded in 2019, Delve is the official thought leadership publication of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Under the direction of Professor Saku Mantere, inaugural Editor-in-Chief, Delve features the latest in management thinking that stretches perspectives, sparks new ideas, and brings clarity to decision-makers at all levels and across sectors.