9.39. In 1995, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) established an Environmental Accounting Task Force (which subsequently became the Triple Bottom Line Issues Group, Which ultimately was discontinued). The task force released a number of documents, one being The Impact of Environmental Matters on the Accountancy Profession (released in January IV"). Within this document the ICAA Environmental Accounting Task Force raised a number of environmental reporting issues that it believed require consideration. These included:
(a) Are standards or guidelines needed to assist companies to meet the information needs of stakeholders in respect of the disclosure of environmental information?
(b) Do environmental impacts, whether quantifiable in monetary terms or not, warrant some form of disclosure to the extent the environmental implications are deemed significant' rather than material within the meaning of accounting standards?
(c) Does the provision of environmental performance information and advising on control aspects of environmental management systems fall within the core skills of accountants?
(d) Are the definitions of 'assets' and 'liabilities' in the conceptual framework appropriate to environmental accounting. If not, how Should they be expanded? Specifically: should the definition of an asset based on 'control' apply' Should it be amended to recognise specifically the environment as an entity, thereby allowing liabilities to be recognised without the intervention of a third party?
(e) Is the concept of materiality relevant to environmental reports? Should reporting of environmental issues according to traditional accounting concepts be progressed while the difficulties of monetary measurement are researched further?
(f) Should general or industry-specific approaches be adopted to advance issues associated with environmental performance evaluation, reporting and auditing?
Attempt to provide your own views on these issues. LO 9.5, 9.11