Role of Various Reports in Environmental Sustainability in the Business Context

The role of report and their effect on the Environmental Sustainability: A report prepared following ethics can act as the basis of bringing a positive change. But sometimes, the person engaged in preparing reports ignores ethics and cannot foresee the effect of it in future. Therefore, everyone is supposed to have a clear idea about this key factor which is explained below in nutshell:

Actually, Ethics is an eternal sense of human being which guides him constantly to apply his conscience before doing any activity by judging right and wrong. The activities the performances of which are dependent on the desire (voluntary action) of any person are coming within the purview of ethics. But practically, in general, any ethical activity means which is moral that is which is right and on the other hand immoral or unethical activity means which is in any way wrong.

Satyam, Shivam (Kalyan i,e, well being of mankind) and Sundaram are the key words of our Indian philosophy. Ethics is related to Shivam which means well being of mankind. According to Joseph W. Wiss, “Business ethics is the art and discipline of applying ethical principles to examine and solve complex moral dilemmas.”11.

But another view as expressed by A.C. Fernando is that it is based on the principle of integrity and fairness and concentrates on the benefits to the stakeholders, both external and internal.

It is almost expected that ethics is to be followed in preparing report. Reporting activities should not be unfairly influenced by anything. It should be fact-based to pursue the objective of preparing the report. Therefore the concept of report and reporting and their consequences on the Environment and Business aspect is presented below:

Report is nothing but a statement of facts of anything or of any activities. It may be prepared for different purposes by different entities. At macro level it may be prepared by any country or even by UNO to control those activities carried on at micro level leading to jeopardise the lives of the planet. Report is also prepared at micro level mainly by the business houses to measure and disclose their operating result along with the position of assets and liabilities at the end of a certain period. They also prepare reports to disclose the effect of their production process on the environment or on the society. Different reports are prepared differently by the businesses but the report prepared in relation to environmental factor is not so important to them as it is not directly related to their profit making activities.

According to Prof. Jawahar Lal, “Financial reporting is not an end in itself but is a means to certain objectives. The objectives of financial reporting and statement have been discussed for a long time. While there is no final statement on objectives, to which all parties of financial reporting have agreed, some consensus has been developing on the objectives of financial reporting.” Besides that, FASB has presented in Statement No. 2 that, “Qualitative characteristics of Accounting Information” that ‘Relevance’ (Timelines) and Reliability’ (Verifiability, Representational Faithfulness) are the Primary decision specific qualities which will ensure materiality.12

The report of any particular thing can be different due to difference in principles followed by them. e.g. profit calculated as per US GAPP is lower than the profit calculated as per Indian GAPP (source: The Chartered Accountant, journal issued by ICAI, Nov, 2007).13

Besides that, a report may be different due to difference in ethics followed by them which influence the motive. Here motive is very vital. According to Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnson, “Motives are the “Why” of behaviour. They arose and maintain activity and determine the general direction of the behaviour of an individual.” The cause is the greediness. It creates tremendous tension which compels one to act unethically. Besides that, pressure from the higher authority, Jealousy, Undue expectation of the members of the family can cause tension which compels one to be involved in unethical activities.

As per Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the former president of India, “Promote profit with integrity” which includes all- the Government, employees, customer, suppliers, the community as a whole for their mutual benefit. According to Allen Barlow, “Integrity in business means: transparency in what management and staff say and in what they do and how they behave; management and staff taking a proactive stance as to what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour; integrity as a prerequisite of how CEO go about leading and managing their corporation, not an afterthought; and making integrity a core business process.”

We at present think more about our self and very little for others. It is the starting point of unsustainability in relation to environment Therefore, a report generated by ethics is to be considered as the pillar of success of establishing environmental sustainability through green business practices which is the need of the hour.

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