Economic activity is conducted by separately identifiable units.

Essay by kiwiodessaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, August 2003

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The purpose of this essay is to look at the sustainability issues as a framework for understanding corporate environmental responsibility. The corporate accountability concept will be considered as well as impact of the stakeholders and other pressure groups upon the organisation and its environment. Social accounting and limitations in traditional accounting, when it comes to accounting for the environment, will be discussed. Finally, the last part of this essay is dedicating to New Zealand and how New Zealand business has embraced environmental issues.


Economic activities are responsible, directly or indirectly, for most human impacts on the earth ecosystems ? and business operations today are conducted with too little thought as to their sustainability. According to Carpa and Pauli, sustainability means satisfying of our own needs without diminishing the chances of future generations.

Today we are faced with a whole series of global problems that are harming the biosphere and human life and which may soon become irreversible.

The great challenge of our time is to create sustainable forms of business. For the last decades, the number of environmental disasters has been increased significantly and a new concept was developed ?a concept of corporate accountability. A company?s purpose, responsibility, and accountability extend well beyond profit for the shareholders. A company clearly affects, or is affected by, a broader community of stakeholders in ways that have both quantitative and qualitative effects. Stakeholders include all those people and organisations that influence, and are influenced by, a company?s existence. These can include customers, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, manufacturers, citizens community groups, various levels of government, contractors, accountants, lawyers, and competitors. Moreover, with the appearance of this new social contract between business and society a new class of ?invisible shareholder? comes, including people yet unborn who can exercise common property rights in a company without...