Building a Green Future: The Role of Environmental Accounting in the Public Sector


This article aims to understand the role of environmental accounting in the public sector and how it can contribute to the development of a green and sustainable future. Using a qualitative approach and research instruments such as interviews and document analysis, this study finds that environmental accounting can be an important strategic tool for the public sector. In this context, environmental accounting can assist in (1) Informing decision-making by providing relevant information on the environmental costs and benefits of various actions and policies. (2) Increasing transparency and accountability by reporting on the environmental impacts of public sector activities. (3) Identify opportunities for efficiency and savings by tracking and analyzing resource use. (4) Encourage innovation by highlighting opportunities for the development of new processes or products that are more environmentally friendly. (5) And, support the achievement of sustainable goals by assisting in setting, tracking, and achievement of sustainable goals. This research contributes to our understanding of the strategic role of environmental accounting in promoting sustainability in the public sector, demonstrating that its adoption can help build a green and sustainable future.

Keywords: environmental accounting, public sector

[1] Parker L. Constructing a research field: a reflection on the history of social and environmental accounting. Soc. Environ. Account. J. 2014;34(2):87–92.

[2] Herbohn K. A full cost environmental accounting experiment. Account Organ Soc. 2005;30(6):519–36.

[3] Hull RA, et al. Unlocking environmental accounting for healthy future landscapes. People Nat. 2022;4(5):1113–25.

[4] Y. J. Ahnad and E. Lutz, “Environmental accounting for sustainable development,” 1989.

[5] de Sousa RG, de Vasconcelos AF, Caneca RL, Niyama JK. Accrual basis accounting in the Brazilian public sector: empirical research on the usefulness of accounting information. Rev Contab Finanç. 2013;24(63):219.

[6] Huy PQ, Phuc VK. The impact of public sector scorecard adoption on the effectiveness of accounting information systems towards the sustainable performance in public sector. Cogent Bus. Manag. 2020;7(1):1717718.

[7] C. K. H. C. K. Kassim, “Social and Environmental Accounting Education: A Discussion,” 2014.

[8] Gordon B. Public discourse and decision making. Exploring possibilities for financial, social and environmental accounting. Account Audit Account J. 2000;13(1):27–64.

[9] Brown J, Fraser M. Approaches and perspectives in social and environmental accounting: an overview of the conceptual landscape. Bus Strategy Environ. 2006;15(2):103–17.

[10] Cox TH, Blake S. Managing cultural diversity: implications for organizational competitiveness. Acad Manage Perspect. 1991;5(3):45–56.

[11] Reap J, Roman F, Duncan S, Bras B. A survey of unresolved problems in life cycle assessment: Part 2: impact assessment and interpretation. Int J Life Cycle Assess. 2008;13(5):374–88.