Accounting for sustainable business Essay Example

Tarsal’s Report On Sustainability 4


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Executive summary

The search for the attainment of sustainability in the aquaculture industry has been an issue that has drawn interest from all interested parties in Australia. The relevance of this concept cannot be ignored by the company, and therefore the issue has been followed to make sure that the firm conforms so that maximum benefits can be reaped and also environmental conservation has been attained in the process. The full analysis up to the recommendations on the actions that are necessary to be taken by the management is all contained in this report.

Table of Contents

4 Introduction

4 Discussion

  1. Sustainability and its Relevance to Business Accounting 4

  2. The Notion of Sustainability Relevance to the Aquaculture Industry 7

  3. Relevance of Sustainability to Tassal 8

  4. Recommendations for sustainability in Tassal’s operations 10

Reference List 12

Appendices 13


Tassal has enjoyed a growing success in the field of Agribusiness, farming salmon fish, processing, and selling the finished product which has made the company one of the most notable ones in Australia since 1986. The expansion of the business has seen it employ over 800 staff who is part of the production of the 12000 tons of salmon each year. Tassal has followed up to access its implementation of the issue, and at this moment the report of the firm regarding sustainability is given. Although there are sustainability reports that Tassal has been making, there has grown some waves of controversy that regarding the question of the frameworks and practices. This report aims to address this issue of sustainability regarding defining it, showing its relevance, the specific questions about it, as well as its importance to the business (Wallis, 2011, pp.33). However, there are some limitations of the report in that it has limited to the perspective of an individual and addressed to the CEO to solve his concerns. Also, the assumptions here are that Tassal is a universal business, just like any other and therefore the organizational concepts that apply to other firms also apply to Tassal (Wallis, 2011, pp.34).


  1. Sustainability and its Relevance to Business Accounting

Sustainability is the property of the natural environment that enables it to maintain its diversity while providing everything that it requires that will allow the balancing of the ecology (Werbach, 2009, pp.24). Business people define sustainability as the ability of the natural systems to provide the current generation with its needs and all the goods that they require without affecting the future of the generations that are not yet born. Human civilization does affect the environment and hence sustainability in different ways that leave many adverse effects. Developments and technology come with diverse negative ways through which the existence of human beings does endanger the environment. Sustainability analyses how humans may be able to coexist in a friendly way in the natural environment without having to leave some disastrous consequences that come as a result of their actions (Werbach, 2009, pp.24). Many of the humans on the planet live in the urban centers or at least in places where civilization is in the form of industries have already occurred.

Sustainability is important especially to accounting when one assess the effect of the degradation of the natural environment and the rate at which humans are exploiting natural resources. The rates are quite alarming and also indicate that the actions that result in pollution are affecting the environment negatively (Werbach, 2009, pp.25). Business accounting is explicitly linked to sustainability concept through the desire to account for the environmental pollution that takes place and the degradation that is spread by the companies. The aim of any business is to make profits. In addition to the making of the benefits, there is the preservation of the natural environment to ensure that the natural resources do not go to exhaustion due to the careless actions such as pollution by humans. This is specifically more sensible to businesses that conduct the business of processing whereby the raw materials are all obtained from mother Tassal must look into the way its activities are affecting the sea and the waters together with the fish and other water animals and plants (Wallis, 2011, pp.32). The presence of the processing industry near the sea is a threat that does release some poisonous substances into the sewerage system that may enter the sea water accidentally, bringing adverse effects that environmental experts may not welcome. There is more emphasis put in regards to this issue to exploit the resources sustainably. Violation of this could lead to other results that may not be too appealing such as global warming or the decline of some industries that should be producing food and other materials for the human population (Martins et al., 2010, pp. 87). Some of the industries emit carbon and other poisonous gases that do affect the air whereas others are releasing toxic chemicals into water bodies. Just in the same way through which companies account for the resources that they use during a specified trading period, the environment should be considered for, in this case, giving a full breakdown of the different actions and their implications on the environment. Every business should be able to account for any pollution that it has released into the natural surroundings that would be harmful to other living organisms that exist within the particular area.

As far as accounting is concerned, the environment must also be accounted for as it provides the necessary commodities that humans cannot go without in their daily lives. Thus the concept of sustainability falls on both sides of business and accounting. Any serious business would want to use to leave the environment in a better way than it found (Huntington, and Hasan, 2009, pp. 7). In accounting, there is nothing that is not accounted for, and so in the same way, the environment is treated in the same manner. Also, sustainability comes in another way that the bodies of the people that work or live around some business premises should not be affected negatively by the development and the manufacturing processes that happen in the firm (Martins et al., 2010, pp. 86). This helps avert disasters such as disease, hunger due to famine, and help humans make wealth through utilizing the natural endowments. Tassal must look into the way its activities are affecting the sea and the waters together with the fish and other water animals and plants. The presence of the processing industry near the sea is a threat that does release some poisonous substances into the sewerage system that may enter the sea water accidentally, bringing adverse effects that environmental experts may not welcome.

According to the social expectations of business operations, the society looks up on companies to exploit the environment for their benefit and leave the surroundings in a safe state. For example, the planting of trees to cover up for the deforestation that may have taken place when setting up the premises of an organization is something that the society expects every business to perform (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 786). In many times, the community appreciates the businesses that take care of the environment and develop a positive attitude towards such enterprises for their sustainable practices. Different environmental activists always strive to see that any company does not pollute the environment and leave it in the same state but instead maintains the original situation of the environment.

  1. The Notion of Sustainability Relevance to the Aquaculture Industry

The aquaculture industry cannot operate without giving due regard to the concept of sustainability as it is the back bone of continued growth of the industry. This is to mean that the fish and other resources that are obtained from the sea can go into exhaustion when the issue of safeguarding the environment is not emphasized by this industry (Huntington, and Hasan, 2009, pp. 4). Tassal must look into the way its activities are affecting the sea and the waters together with the fish and other water animals and plants. The presence of the processing industry near the sea is a threat that does release some poisonous substances into the sewerage system that may enter the sea water accidentally, bringing adverse effects that environmental experts may not welcome. The people, as well as the environment, get the adverse effects that result as

Some negative effects include the destruction of the habitat in which the sea animals live (Huntington, and Hasan, 2009, pp. 5). This causes a grave crisis, as they cannot survive in any other habitat except in the mangroves, water, and the coastal wetlands. The water can be made unsuitable for the survival of these sea creatures and plants which mean that the aquaculture industry would have to collapse. This is because the source of raw materials would be gone and thus the loss of employment which is a backward step in the development that aims at improving the lives of people. Instead of achieving a milestone that would be directed to raising the levels of income and improving the living standards of the population with employments, higher incomes, and taxes, the economy gets a shot in the leg (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 786). Therefore the pollution of the marine environment by use of chemicals that are emitted from the industries is a draw back and must be checked on by Tassal and its competitors. The competitors of Tassal, especially Huon, are a good example, as they do not release untreated sewage into the sea. Huon has an advanced system of cleaning the sewage to attain higher levels of purification that would not harm the fish and plants so that the business may flourish. Petuna Seafood also does strictly adhere to the standards of regulating pollution whereby the company makes sure that it releases zero pollutants into the environment that would jeopardize the future of the industry. These two worthy competitors of Tassal in the aquaculture industry have adopted a practical oriented framework of producing sustainability reports. Before giving any report, they first invite external environmental experts who assess if there is any damage that has been done to the environment within a particular period of operation.

  1. Relevance of Sustainability to Tassal

For Tassal to continue growing and expanding its operations that will earn it more revenues and a good return on investment, it has to take into account sustainability. This is a severe issue without which the company cannot move forward in accomplishing its targets in the market. The current market situation of the company is impressive, but it needs to put in more efforts that would enable it to surpass its competitors. A good sustainability report and framework will earn the confidence of the public and hence work as a competitive edge for the company. The firm has its goal of taking a big part of the market share in meeting the growing demand for fisheries products. Without concentrating on the preservation of the environment, the company would lose a lot (Martins et al., 2010, pp. 85). The first thing that would become a mess is the public image and confidence that customers have in the organization on playing its role in environmental conservation.

The issues that the company is facing include the high death rates among its stock of fish due to environmental pollution that has even surpassed the growth rate (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 784). This is an indication that there is something wrong as far as sustainable farming is concerned. There are too many chemicals that the company is releasing into the sea that is affecting the stock of fish at its sea cages. The fish end up being affected and die in the process, causing an alarm to environmentalists and researchers. This was also noted by the United Nations Environmental Program that issued a warning that there needs to be done something by the Australian firm. Also, the problem of the low level of dissolved oxygen at the Macquarie harbor has been significantly on the decline (Martins et al., 2010, pp. 89). This is a red line to the management of the aqua farm, and therefore the company needs to work on the issue of sustainability with much seriousness. This has prompted Huon to take on legal actions to ensure that Tassal adopts sustainability frameworks to save the fauna from dying out altogether. Although Tassal has gone ahead and issued a statement claiming that the harbor would be cleaned and secured to ensure that the fish do not die, there needs to be installed long term action plans by the company (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 785).

The expectations of the stakeholders of Tassal are high, and the company cannot achieve them without having fulfilled the sustainability requirement. This is an indication that ate adoption of useful frameworks as far as dealing with matters concerning the environment are concerned should be given priority. The future of the firm lies in the sustainable running of the organization and managing the operations so that the environment is preserved and in the process, better outcomes are obtained (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 784). The strength of Tassal is apparent unless the firm damages its reputation by acting in contravention to the safe environmental practices. There are in fact lots of opportunities that are available for grabs by the company because everything has been left out to be determined by the decisions that the management of Tassal makes. In the case that the firm can choose to have a clean, sustainable business, then there will be a lot of operations regarding the production as well as the market opportunities that will open up for Tassal to exploit (Smith et al., 2010, pp. 784). Better management of the operations of the company would lead to a well-managed and clean environment that would give rise to a better conditions for the growth of fish. The high fish stock would result in greater productivity. Also, because of the good sustainability practices, the firm would gain acceptance from the public which would expand its market and sell more than the rivals.

  1. Recommendations for sustainability in Tassal’s operations

  1. Taking measure to combat salmon lice. This is a disease that affects fish and is a serious threat that must be dealt with appropriately. The first action is adopting practices that do not use chemicals in the treatment of the disease (Martins et al., 2010, pp. 83). This would be possible through the introduction of wrasse, a kind of fish species that clean other fish of parasites that have invested them on their external bodies. This method is highly advantageous as it is also cost effective.

  2. Tassal should invest in technology and innovation in the aquaculture industry. If improvements are enhanced in feeding and nutrition of the salmon, breeding as well as disease control, there would be a significant increase in the fish population. These methods would all be sustainable. This is because the environmental impact is less than it would have been and as a result, the company would reap big from the investment.

  3. Tassal should be conducting an audit of the systems that would help in identifying the consequences of the business on the environment. In every year, the exercise should be carried out so that the change that has been detected can be noted and the management takes action to respond in an attempt to correct the deviation. The firm should be able to account for any environmental deterioration and respond fast to restore and clean the systems so that sustainability is maintained (Werbach, 2009, pp.26).

  4. Tassal should act quickly to satisfy all the regulations that govern the environment and be sure that every step is meant to bring in the attainment of sustainability. This is the responsibility of the environmental manager who should follow up to ensure the firm conforms to the standards that have been set by the regulations authority in Australia.

Reference List

Huntington, T.C. and Hasan, M.R., 2009. Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture–practices,

sustainability and implications: a global synthesis. In Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture:

practices, sustainability and implications (Vol. 518, pp. 1-61). FAO Rome.

Martins, C.I.M., Eding, E.H., Verdegem, M.C., Heinsbroek, L.T., Schneider, O., Blancheton,

J.P., d’Orbcastel, E.R. and Verreth, J.A.J., 2010. New developments in recirculating

aquaculture systems in Europe: A perspective on environmental sustainability. Aquacultural

Engineering, 43(3), pp.83-93.

Smith, M.D., Roheim, C.A., Crowder, L.B., Halpern, B.S., Turnipseed, M., Anderson, J.L.,

Asche, F., Bourillón, L., Guttormsen, A.G., Khan, A. and Liguori, L.A., 2010. Sustainability

and global seafood. Science, 327(5967), pp.784-786.

Wallis, J., 2011. Tassal. Ausmarine, 33(6), p.29.

Werbach, A., 2009. Strategy for sustainability: A business manifesto. Harvard Business Press.


Seafood and Huon

Competitors of Tassal

Aquaculture industry

The industry where the produce is sea animals especially fish