OGREEN ACCOUNTING: A PREREQUISITE TO FIRM SUSTAINABILITY

Iormbagah, J.A., 2 Onodi, B.E., 3 Okezie, S. O. & 4 Nwaorgu, I.A
Department of Accounting, College of Management sciences,
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike. Umuahia, Abia State. 1 Corresponding
author’s E-mail: jiormbagah1@gmail.com

Anchored on the Stakeholders theory, the study adopts a mixed research design of both survey
and content analysis to assess the environmental impact of firms’ economic activities and the
need for green accounting by firms in Nigeria. On the part of the firm; a content analysis of
the firms, sustainability report is done to ascertain the green accounting methods used by the
firms. Using a sample of 30 responses drawn from returned questionnaire, the study used
frequency and percentages to explain people’s perception towards green accounting and its
implication for firms’ sustainability (green accounting practice). From the study findings it is
concluded that environmental issues and poor sustainability measures by firms is still on the
rise as shown by the level of green accounting methods adopted by the firms in their published
sustainability reports. Irrespective of the oil and gas firms effort to publish sustainability
reports in line with the GRI standard to prove their level of environmental responsiveness, the
host communities members and other firm stakeholders responses shows that oil and gas firms
in Nigeria are putting less effort to foster green accounting practices that will minimize
negative environmental impacts as well as improve firms’ sustainability. Findings further
revealed that, poor implementation of green accounting methods as a result of firms’ economic
interest of cost minimization has led to environmental issues that have greatly thrown the image
of the firms to the mud in the eyes of stakeholders like the host community who are key players
to the existence and sustainability of the firms. Thus it is recommended that government must
introduce and adequately implement laws that guide the adoption of green accounting
practices by firms such that the environmental impacts of firms’ economic activities will be
checked and minimized. This can be done through imposition of high taxes on flaring that is
above alternative flaring cost, such that firms will be persuaded to resort to production
techniques other than gas flaring that encourages environmental conservatism and firm
sustainability. On the other, to avert such high tax impositions firms should consider the need
to employ the services of management accountants that are cost evaluation experts and
versatile in green accounting to determine the best cost approach that will be environmental
friendly. This approach best protects the interest of all the firms’ stakeholders as explained by
Freeman in his (1984) stakeholders’ theory of the firm.
Keywords: Green accounting, environmental pollution, stakeholders’ theory and
sustainability report.

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