IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/crpeac/v33y2015icp92-116.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The “Triple Depreciation Line” instead of the “Triple Bottom Line”: Towards a genuine integrated reporting

Author

Listed:
  • Rambaud, Alexandre
  • Richard, Jacques

Abstract

The ‘Triple Bottom Line’ (TBL) is a major and increasingly used socio-environmental accounting framework. However, critical academic examinations of this model have been remained scarce and most importantly, no real alternatives have been developed. Thus this theoretical paper provides a contribution to fill this gap. Through a critical analysis of the TBL, we argue that it suffers from severe limitations. In particular, it does not protect human and natural capital (HNC). As an answer to these problems, we propose and discuss another accounting framework, the ‘Triple Depreciation Line’ (TDL), which extends to HNC the powerful capitalist accounting tool for preserving financial capital – the historical cost accounting (HCA) and its planned depreciation. To this end, we analyse and (re-)define the concept of capital in an ecological accounting context. We clearly specify the assumptions on which the TDL relies, to facilitate comparisons or dialogues with other accounting models and to avoid misunderstanding as in the case of the TBL. These axioms concern what we call the ‘social’ (axioms SA1–2) and ‘corporate’ (axioms AA1–4) capital maintenance. While the two first appeal to the most precise ontological investigation possible of HNC, the others imply mainly the recourse to the HCA and its depreciation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rambaud, Alexandre & Richard, Jacques, 2015. "The “Triple Depreciation Line” instead of the “Triple Bottom Line”: Towards a genuine integrated reporting," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 92-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:92-116
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2015.01.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1045235415000234
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gamini Herath, 2005. "Sustainable development and environmental accounting: the challenge to the economics and accounting profession," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(12), pages 1035-1050, December.
    2. Ding, Yuan & Richard, Jacques & Stolowy, Hervé, 2008. "Towards an understanding of the phases of goodwill accounting in four Western capitalist countries: From stakeholder model to shareholder model," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 718-755.
    3. Anil Markandya & Alistair Hunt & Ian Milborrow, 2005. "Developments in Green Accounting," Chapters, in: Anil Markandya & Marialuisa Tamborra (ed.),Green Accounting in Europe, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Brown, Judy & Dillard, Jesse, 2013. "Critical accounting and communicative action: On the limits of consensual deliberation," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 176-190.
    5. Rubenstein, Daniel Blake, 1992. "Bridging the gap between green accounting and black ink," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 501-508, July.
    6. Norman, Wayne & MacDonald, Chris, 2004. "Getting to the Bottom of “Triple Bottom Lineâ€," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 243-262, April.
    7. David Audretsch, 2009. "The entrepreneurial society," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 245-254, June.
    8. Eve Chiapello, 2005. "Les normes comptables comme institution du capitalisme. Une analyse du passage aux normes IFRS en Europe à partir de 2005," Post-Print hal-00466528, HAL.
    9. Roy Brouwer & Martin O'Connor & Walter Radermacher, 1999. "GREEned National STAtistical and Modelling Procedures: the GREENSTAMP approach to the calculation of environmentally adjusted national income figures," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(1), pages 7-31.
    10. David Pearce, 1976. "The Limits Of Cost‐Benefit Analysis As A Guide To Environmental Policy," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, January.
    11. Faucheux, Sylvie & Froger, Geraldine & Noel, Jean-Francois, 1995. "What forms of rationality for sustainable development?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 169-209.
    12. Eve Chiapello, 2012. "La construction comptable de l'économie," Post-Print hal-00712051, HAL.
    13. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1389 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:dau:papers:123456789/993 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Spence, Crawford & Chabrak, Nihel & Pucci, Richard, 2013. "Doxic sunglasses: A response to “Green accounting and Green Eyeshades: Twenty years later”," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 469-473.
    16. David I. Stern, 1997. "The Capital Theory Approach to Sustainability: A Critical Appraisal," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 145-174, March.
    17. Brown, Judy, 2009. "Democracy, sustainability and dialogic accounting technologies: Taking pluralism seriously," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 313-342.
    18. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11786 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Macintosh, Norman B. & Shearer, Teri & Thornton, Daniel B. & Welker, Michael, 2000. "Accounting as simulacrum and hyperreality: perspectives on income and capital," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 13-50, January.
    20. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14279 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Deegan, Craig, 2013. "The accountant will have a central role in saving the planet … really? A reflection on ‘green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later’," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 448-458.
    22. Frank H. Knight, 1935. "The Theory of Investment Once More: Mr. Boulding and the Austrians," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 36-67.
    23. Jacques Richard, 2012. "Comptabilité et développement durable," Post-Print hal-01651227, HAL.
    24. Charles R. Hulten, 1991. "The Measurement of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 119-158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Jacques Richard, 2012. "The victory of the prussian railway "dynamic" accounting over the public finance and patrimonial accounting models (1838-1884): an early illustration of the appearance of the second stage of," Post-Print hal-01651224, HAL.
    26. R.H.Gray, 1994. "Corporate Reporting for Sustainable Development: Accounting for Sustainability in 2000AD," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 3(1), pages 17-45, February.
    27. repec:dau:papers:123456789/8224 is not listed on IDEAS
    28. Hicks, John R, 1974. "Capital Controversies: Ancient and Modern," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 307-316, May.
    29. Thornton, Daniel B., 2013. "Green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 438-442.
    30. Jones, Michael John, 2010. "Accounting for the environment: Towards a theoretical perspective for environmental accounting and reporting," Accounting forum, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 123-138.
    31. Gray, Rob, 1992. "Accounting and environmentalism: An exploration of the challenge of gently accounting for accountability, transparency and sustainability," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 399-425, July.
    32. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7653 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. Thornton, Daniel B., 2013. "Green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later rejoinder to critics," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 474-476.
    34. Ezzamel, Mahmoud, 2009. "Order and accounting as a performative ritual: Evidence from ancient Egypt," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 348-380, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexandre Rambaud & Jacques Richard, 2015. "Towards a finance that CARES," Post-Print halshs-01260075, HAL.
    2. Sylvie Rascol-Boutard & Ariel Eggrikx & Pascale Amans, 2018. "L'impasse des comptabilités publique et privée: rendre visible les "biens communs"," Post-Print hal-02289782, HAL.
    3. Morales, Jérémy & Sponem, Samuel, 2017. "You too can have a critical perspective! 25 years of Critical Perspectives on Accounting," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 149-166.
    4. Xiaorui Wang, 2019. "The National Ecological Accounting and Auditing Scheme as an Instrument of Institutional Reform in China: A Discourse Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 587-603, February.
    5. Christopher Hossfeld & Yvonne Muller-Lagarde & David Alexander & Moritz Pöschke & Lionel Zevounou, 2018. "European Public Interest," Working Papers hal-01936960, HAL.
    6. Yulia Altukhova-Nys & Jean-Marc Bascourret & Jean-Francis Ory & Jean-Luc Petitjean, 2017. "Mesurer la compétitivité des exploitations agricoles familiales en transition vers l'agro-écologie : un état des lieux des problématiques comptables," Post-Print hal-02053018, HAL.
    7. Patrick Velte & Martin Stawinoga, 2017. "Integrated reporting: The current state of empirical research, limitations and future research implications," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 275-320, October.
    8. Ciprian Ionescu & Hélène Leriche & Michel Trommetter, 2016. "Biodiversity and economy: new management and accounting approaches, tools and practices," Post-Print hal-01340449, HAL.
    9. Michel Trommetter, 2015. "Ressources naturelles renouvelables et comptabilité des organisations," Post-Print hal-01254938, HAL.
    10. Pierre Baret & Vincent Helfrich, 2019. "The “trilemma” of non-financial reporting and its pitfalls," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 23(2), pages 485-511, June.
    11. Ciprian Ionescu & Hélène Leriche & Michel Trommetter, 2016. "Biodiversité et Économie : nouvelles approches, outils et démarches de gestion et de comptabilité," Working Papers hal-01340214, HAL.
    12. Ciprian Ionescu & Hélène Leriche & Michel Trommetter, 2016. "Biodiversity and economy: new management and accounting approaches, tools and practices," Working Papers hal-01340449, HAL.
    13. Ciprian Ionescu & Hélène Leriche & Michel Trommetter, 2016. "Biodiversité et Économie : nouvelles approches, outils et démarches de gestion et de comptabilité," Post-Print hal-01340214, HAL.
    14. Samira Demaria & Sandra Rigot, 2020. "Taking on Board the Long-term Horizon in Financial and Accounting Literature," GREDEG Working Papers 2020-01, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    15. Trébucq, Stéphane & Magnaghi, Elisabetta, 2017. "Using the EFQM excellence model for integrated reporting: A qualitative exploration and evaluation," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 522-531.
    16. Trommetter, M., 2015. "Ressources naturelles et comptabilité des organisations," Working Papers 2015-08, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    17. Aarti Singh & Sushil & Samarjit Kar & Dragan Pamucar, 2019. "Stakeholder Role for Developing a Conceptual Framework of Sustainability in Organization," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(1), pages 1-16, January.
    18. Charl de Villiers & Elmar R. Venter & Pei†Chi Kelly Hsiao, 2017. "Integrated reporting: background, measurement issues, approaches and an agenda for future research," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(4), pages 937-959, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Alexandre Rambaud & Jacques Richard, 2015. "Towards a finance that CARES," Post-Print halshs-01260075, HAL.
    2. Gray, Rob, 2013. "Back to basics: What do we mean by environmental (and social) accounting and what is it for?—A reaction to Thornton," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 459-468.
    3. Alexandre Rambaud & Jacques Richard, 2016. "The " Triple Depreciation Line " (TDL) accounting model and its application to the Human Capital," Working Papers hal-01260004, HAL.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14276 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Deegan, Craig, 2017. "Twenty five years of social and environmental accounting research within Critical Perspectives of Accounting: Hits, misses and ways forward," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 65-87.
    6. Cho, Charles H. & Patten, Dennis M., 2013. "Green accounting: Reflections from a CSR and environmental disclosure perspective," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 443-447.
    7. Spence, Crawford & Chabrak, Nihel & Pucci, Richard, 2013. "Doxic sunglasses: A response to “Green accounting and Green Eyeshades: Twenty years later”," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 469-473.
    8. C. Feger & Alexandre Rambaud, 2020. "Improving nature’s visibility in financial accounting," Working Papers hal-02976915, HAL.
    9. Deegan, Craig, 2013. "The accountant will have a central role in saving the planet … really? A reflection on ‘green accounting and green eyeshades twenty years later’," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 448-458.
    10. Richard, Jacques, 2015. "The dangerous dynamics of modern capitalism (from static to IFRS’ futuristic accounting)," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 9-34.
    11. Hajnalka Ván, 2012. "Environmental Accounting – A New Challenge for the Accounting System," Public Finance Quarterly, State Audit Office of Hungary, vol. 57(4), pages 437-452.
    12. Grisard, Claudine & Annisette, Marcia & Graham, Cameron, 2020. "Performative agency and incremental change in a CSR context," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    13. Murphy, Tim & O’Connell, Vincent, 2017. "Challenging the dominance of formalism in accounting education: An analysis of the potential of stewardship in light of the evolution of legal education," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-29.
    14. Andrew, Jane & Baker, Max, 2020. "The radical potential of leaks in the shadow accounting project: The case of US oil interests in Nigeria," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    15. Brown, Judy, 2017. "Democratizing accounting: Reflections on the politics of “old” and “new” pluralisms," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 20-46.
    16. Bebbington, Jan & Russell, Shona & Thomson, Ian, 2017. "Accounting and sustainable development: Reflections and propositions," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 21-34.
    17. Neu, D. & Warsame, H. & Pedwell, K., 1998. "Managing public impressions: environmental disclosures in annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 265-282, April.
    18. Amer Shakkour & Hamza Alaodat & Emad Alqisi & Ali Alghazawi, 2018. "The Role of Environmental Accounting in Sustainable Development. Empirical Study," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 8(1), pages 1-5.
    19. Jukka Mähönen, 2020. "Comprehensive Approach to Relevant and Reliable Reporting in Europe: A Dream Impossible?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(13), pages 1-1, June.
    20. Tobias Hahn & Frank Figge & Jonatan Pinkse & Lutz Preuss, 2010. "Trade‐offs in corporate sustainability: you can't have your cake and eat it," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 217-229, May.
    21. Burnett, Royce D. & Hansen, Don R., 2008. "Ecoefficiency: Defining a role for environmental cost management," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 551-581, August.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:92-116. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/critical-perspectives-on-accounting/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.