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True Cost Accounting


True cost accounting is needed to understand the true value proposition. If external social and environmental costs and benefits are ignored, the market fails and we face a very grim future. Economists too often consider only a small subset of the market, so although their work is very precise it is commonly environmentally ignorant and socially bankrupt.

Truce Cost Accounting is particularly important for food and agriculture. Even rudimentary calculations of the external costs and benefits will help lead to change. Transactions between consumers, companies, organizations, and communities will be more sustainable and lead to a more positive future. We need to make True Cost Reporting and Accounting easier for accountants, CEOs, CFOs, engineers, farmers, foresters, park managers, designers, sustainability report writers, and database and data mining software developers. We also need to make these reports more consumer friendly.


True cost, complete cost accounting, external costs, gross domestic product, index of sustainable economic welfare, ISEW, gross national happiness, GNH, social accounting, health expenditures, livable future, sustainability accounting, sustainability reporting, global reporting, GRI, B corporations, ecological costs, climate change, sea level rise, wildfires, extreme storms, carbon emissions, carbon sequestration, acid rain, Pigou, reprocessing, return to nature, recycling, eutrophication


Bainbridge, D. A. 2021. Accounting for climate change. Part I. Academia Letters. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2022. Accounting for climate change, Part II. Academia Letters

Bainbridge, D. A. 2011. Triple bottom line accounting. page 5-9 in Passive Solar Architecture. Chelsea Green.

Bainbridge, D. A. 2010. Environmental management accounting as an innovation driver. Environmental and Sustainability

Accounting Network Conference Proceedings, San Diego, CA. 1-8.

Bainbridge, D. A. 2009. Sustainability: accounting for our future. Vision Magazine. August. 19:44. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2009. The ecological costs of buildings. Society of Building Science Educators News. Fall. p. 4,5.

Bainbridge, D. A. 2009. Focus on carbon wrong. Society of Building Science Educators News. Summer:7. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2008. Friedman and Lysenko. Real World Economic Review. 46(May/ June):158-159. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2008. Real financial Crisis. Leadership Excellence. 25(4):8. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2007. True cost accounting for the post-autistic economy. Post Autistic Economic Review. 41:23-28. 

Bainbridge, D. A., U. Jamrozy, R. Naert and G. Lorton. 2007. Management for the Triple Bottom Line. Proceedings of the Society for Advancement of Management International Business Conference, Las Vegas, NV March 25-28, 2007. pp. 694-705. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 2006. Adding ecological considerations to “environmental” accounting. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 87(4):335-340.

Bainbridge, D. A. 2004. The price falls short. Solar Today. 18(5):62,59.

Bainbridge, D. A. 1997. The nitrogen pollution problem. Ecesis. The Newsletter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, California Section. 7(3):3-4. 

Bainbridge, D. A. 1985. Ecological education: time for a new approach. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 66(4):461-462.

Bainbridge, D. A. 1983. Farm Accounts 1982:A Very Bad Year. Acres USA. Sept. 13:9.

Bainbridge, D.A. 1983. Parity for pen and plow. Wall Street Journal. editorial page. 108(March 8):46. 

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