Ian Thomson


Ian Thomson is Professor of Accounting and Sustainability at Birmingham Business School, convenor of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research, Director of the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business. The objective of the Centre is to enable businesses to escape from the limiting, often self-destructive, consequences of intentional and unintentional irresponsibility. Ian has been researching topics relating to responsibility, sustainability and accountability for 30 years. This research has included studies on implementation of cleaner technology, effective stakeholder engagement, risk governance in water and salmon farming, sustainable development indicators, government policy-making, climate change, effective pedagogy, use of accounting by activists, human rights, international development programmes and football clubs. His current projects include carbon accountability, operationalising the SDG for business and responsible business outcome measurement. He is the co-author of Urgent Business, Routledge Handbook on Environmental Accounting and Net Zero Accounting for a Net Zero UK and worked with Business in The Community to develop their Responsible Business Tracker. He was an expert reviewer for the latest IPCC report, called as an expert witness to Scottish Parliament, advisor to Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, and Cities and Infrastructure Committee, worked with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sustainable Development Commission (Scotland), with The Princes Charity, as an accountability expert to UN World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation, advised large corporations on their sustainability strategy and reporting. In 2019 he was awarded BAFA Distinguished Academic of the year for his seminal work on Environmental Reporting. Before becoming an academic he worked as a management accountant for NHS Scotland and BBC Scotland.