Federation Business School
BUACC5934: Financial Accounting
Semester 2-2018 – ASSIGNMENT
Contribution to overall assessment: 30%
In a folder called “Assignment Papers”, you will find 6 papers that address various aspects of sustainability and environmental reporting.
- Critically review any four of the six papers;
- Discuss the 2017 BHP sustainability report. (word limit – 2000 words)
- A critical review requires you to summarise and evaluate each paper.
- To be critical does not mean to criticise in a negative way. It requires you to question the given information and view put forth by the author(s). It requires you to evaluate the issues raised in a paper.
- Evaluation means presenting the strengths and weaknesses of a paper.
- Overall, writing a critical review involves analysis and evaluation.
Handout from Federation University -Writing a critical review
Assignment cover sheet – to be attached to each assignment group
This is a group assignment. Each group needs to have 2 or 3 members in it. Please organise each other into groups. If you do not wish to work in a group please discuss this with your lecturer.
Further Additional Information
The following matters should be given particular attention:
- Your assignment must be submitted no later than the Friday ending week 10 of the semester. Assessment tasks submitted after the due date, without prior approval or arrangement, will be penalised by ten percent. Requests for extension of time must be made with your lecturer and based on Special Consideration guidelines.
- In your assignment use 12-pt times new roman font, use 2 cm margins on all four sides of your page and 1.5 line spacing.
- Remember to reference your writing, as well as a bibliography at the end of the report.
- This assignment must be handed in for successful completion of the course, and will count as 30 marks towards the final mark.
- Marks have been allocated to each specific section of your assignment.
- All assignments are to be uploaded to Moodle.
Chapter 30 – Accounting for corporate social responsibility
Craig Deegan, (2016)
It is now more widely accepted, but not universally accepted, that business organisations have responsibilities to a broader group of stakeholders beyond their shareholders (Deegan, C. 2016, p.1051).
In the case of social and environmental reporting there are very few mandatory public reporting requirements. One motivation often cited for why organisations voluntarily produce information about their social, and environmental performance is a desire to maintain or improve the ‘legitimacy’ of the organisation.
Consistent with Legitimacy Theory, organisations are perceived to undertake actions, including disclosing information, in an endeavour to appear legitimate to the societies in which they operate.
Pursuant to Legitimacy Theory, accounting disclosure policies are considered to constitute a strategy for influencing an organisation’s relationships with the parties or stakeholders, with which it interacts.
Companies within the mining industry are becoming more transparent in releasing information in relation to their interactions with the environment and following various standards and protocols
(Perez and Sanchez, 2009 ). This is due in part to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) which has seen increasing uptake by mining companies over the past decade (Mudd, 2009a ). The GRI is a framework for the reporting of environmental, social and economic performance in the context of sustainability.
BHP states in its latest annual report that:
“Sustainability is core to our business strategy and integrated into our decision-making. It helps us live our charter values of putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible and supporting our host communities”.
However, the same report also informs about five fatalities and two significant community incidents in 2015 alone, as well as the disastrous Samarco tailings dam collapse in Brazil. It seems that the company is all talk and no strategic action.