Sustainability accounting via databases: Current work and future possibilities

James Hazelton*, Shane Leong, John Dumay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


While social and environmental research has mainly centred on corporate sustainability reports, this chapter reviews a different mechanism for sustainability reporting: central database regimes. These regimes have been used around the world by both governments and NGOs to monitor corporate activities in areas such as pollution and political activities by capturing and presenting information in a publicly accessible database. Crucially, research reveals that such reporting enables meaningful comparisons of performance across firms and can therefore facilitate regulatory and community attention on poor performers, ultimately driving organisational change towards sustainability. The chapter proposes three key trajectories of future database-related research: first, obtaining a better understanding of the most potent characteristics of databases for moving organisations towards sustainability; second, exploring the relative merits of government and NGO databases to drive this change; and third, exploring how multiple databases might be integrated to improve sustainability decision-making by corporates, governments, consumers and civil society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of accounting and sustainability
EditorsCarol A. Adams
Place of PublicationCheltenham, UK ; Northampton, MA, USA
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781800373518
ISBN (Print)9781800373501
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameResearch Handbooks in Accounting


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