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Sustainability accounting and finance

Sustainability accounting and finance

Sustainability accounting plays a crucial role in embedding understandings of interconnected and complex sustainability impacts and dependencies in organisational strategic decision-making. From a finance perspective, private investment is increasingly considered indispensable for everything from climate change adaption to scaling up renewable energy, and our work helps understand how and where those investments are taking place.

Pentland Centre research in this area includes a wide range of environmental accounting and finance mechanisms that are designed to have positive environmental impacts.

Areas of work include:

  • Green bonds are a means for institutions, such as cities, to raise money to pay for projects that have an explicit environmental impact. Dr Patrick Bigger leads on this work, and you can access his papers on this topic via ResearchGate.
  • Dr Bigger and Dr Ben Neimark both work on engaging with stakeholders in a variety of profit-oriented conservation mechanisms, the financialisation of nature and land acquisitions in the global south.
  • Reporting by corporations of risks posed to their operations by climate change, and how they manage these risks, can be crucial in banking and investment decisions. Professor Jeffrey Unerman has carried out work in this area linked to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures initiative.
  • Green investment funds screen prospective investments in respect of a range of environmental (and social) impacts. Dr Di Wang and Professor Jeffrey Unerman research the motivation and effectiveness of corporations disclosing this type of environmental impact information through their corporate reports.
  • Global Reporting Initiative is the most popular framework for corporate reporting of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance indicators. Dr Dasha Smirnow explores whether voluntary adoption of the framework by a company is associated with the quality of their ESG disclosures or the level of their ESG performance.

Key researchers

Patrick Bigger

Critical Geographies

Benjamin Neimark

Dr Benjamin Neimark

Senior Lecturer

Improving global stewardship, Institute for Social Futures Fellow, Political Ecology

A24, A - Floor, LEC lll
Dasha Smirnow

Dr Dasha Smirnow

Lecturer in Accounting

Di Wang

Dr Di Wang

Lecturer in Accounting