Accounting and Accountability in the Anthropocene

The Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) warmly invites you to join Professor Jan Bebbington from the University of Birmingham as he explores the themes around the Anthropocene for accounting scholarship

  • Wed 12 Jun 19

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Professor Jan Bebbington, Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Development, University of Birmingham

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Osamuyimen Egbon

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support out world class research activities in four key areas: social responsibility and corporate governance; (management) accounting change (in privatised, public and third sectors); global development, corruption and accountability; reporting, regulation and capital markets. The seminar series is also expected to promote interdisciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.  

Seminar abstract

This paper aims to interrogate the nature and relevance of debates around the existence of, and ramifications arising from, the Anthropocene for accounting scholarship.

The aim will be achieved through an in-depth analysis of the Anthropocene, paying attention to cross disciplinary contributions, interpretations and contentions. Some points of connection between the Anthropocene and accounting scholarship are then proposed and illuminated through a case study drawn from the seafood sector.

The paper develops findings in two areas;

Firstly, there are suggestions about how accounting scholarship might be further developed by the provocation that thinking about the Anthropocene provides. 

Secondly, the findings in the paper suggest new accounting research findings, through engagement with the case study, and proposed that the concept of stewardship may reemerge in discussions about accountability in the Anthropocene.

This paper argues that accounting scholarship focused on social, environment and sustainability concerns may be further developed by engagement with Anthropocene debates.

While accounting practice might have to change to deal with Anthropocene induced effects, this paper focuses on implications for accounting scholarships.

Human wellbeing is likely to be impacted should environmental impacts accelerate. In addition, an Anthropocene framing alters the understanding of nature-human interactions and how this affects accounting thought.

This is the first paper in accounting to seek to establish connections between accounting, accounting and the Anthropocene.


This is a free event. You are encouraged to bring along your colleagues, friends and classmates.

Speaker bio

Professor Jan Bebbington is a Professor of Accounting and Sustainable Development in the Department of Accounting at Birmingham Business School.

Jan has been working in the field of social and environmental accounting for the last 30 years with a particular focus on issues that arise from the connections between accounting and the sustainable development agenda.

This research has led her to an interest in sustainability science and to working across disciplines to address issues tools/ insights from accounting.

Jan has also worked with policy and practice-based communities to help realise the ambitions expressed in the literature towards greater accountability and less damaging / a better social and environmental outcome.

She has supervised ten PhD students on topics including;

  • carbon accounting
  • zero waste governance
  • social accounting technologies
  • accountability and the cultural politics of sustainability

Jan has been published in the following journals;

  • Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
  • Account and Business Research
  • Social and Environmental Accountability Journal