Western Washington University Western Washington University ------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------

Environmental Management Seminar

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Discussion Questions for Environmental Acccounting:

1. What are the organizational challenges of introducing environmental accounting to an organization?

2. In accounting, the environment is basically an untapped resource which technically doesn’t exist until extracted. Does this idea need to be modified? If so, how? Is US GAAP capable of this since it is rules-based not principles-based?

3. Under the concept of natural capital, where the value of something has to represent the underlying natural wealth that is interconnected with it, how do you value something? For example, a tree has traditionally been valued at the price you can get for the lumber. How do you take that a step further and add in the value to the forest ecosystem, contributions to regulation of water and greenhouse gases, etc. How do you attach a price tag for these things?

4. How do we determine whether some particular “good” score outweighs another “bad” score? Are these environmental impacts truly incommensurable?

5. If the Triple Bottom Line is synonymous with Corporate Social Responsibility, is it truly a measureable thing?

6. Current adoption of GRI standards is voluntary. What are some specific ways to encourage adoption by more companies? Should companies even bother with adoption, or is it pointless?

7. What are your general impressions of the Starbucks sustainability report? How accurate is the presentation of data? Is it really just a marketing piece?

8. Is lean accounting a more accurate portrayal of accounts? Could it be the future of accounting, rather than triple bottom line?

9. How is lean accounting connected to environmental accounting?

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