Professor Ian Thomson

Ian's research has included interdisciplinary studies on implementation of cleaner technology, establishing industrial ecologies, effective stakeholder engagement, risk governance in water and salmon farming, sustainable development indicators, government policy making, the role of new digital media, participative geographic information systems, developments in data and analytical technologies, effective pedagogy, use of accounting by activists, human rights, international development programmes and football club ownership and governance.

He has been called as an expert witness to the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Infrastructure & Capital Investment Committees, Special Policy Advisor to the Scottish Parliament’s Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Budget Advisor to the Scottish Parliaments’ Cities and Infrastructure Committee, worked with The Princes Charity, Business in the Community and as an accountability expert to UN World Food Programme and Food and Agriculture Organisation and Sustainable Development Commission (Scotland). His current projects include responsible and ethical accountability and data use, citizen accounting and social media, accountability for food aid, carbon accountability and responsible business transformation and outcome measurement.

Ian is part of the Birmingham Plastics Network, an interdisciplinary team of more than 40 academics working together to shape the fate and sustainable future of plastics. This unique team brings together chemists, environmental scientists, philosophers, linguists, economists, and experts in many other fields, to holistically address the global plastics problem.

Ian Thomson is chair of C-Change Scotland, a charity that provides individually tailored person centred support to enable individuals with complex learning needs to live independently and achieve their desires and aspirations (

Ian Thomson is a board member for Scottish Council of Deafness, a charity that represents organisations working with and on behalf of Deaf Sign Language users, deafened, deafblind and, hard of hearing people, in order to  provides effective working partnerships between the Voluntary Sector, Social Work and Education Departments, NHS Trusts, Health Boards and the Government (

Ian Thomson is Director of the Centre for Responsible Business. He is also Convenor of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research.

IAN-CROPPED-230Professor Ian Thomson

Supporting SDGs
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Featured Papers and Articles


More Papers and Articles

Responsible social accounting communities, symbolic activism and the reframing of social accounting. A commentary on new accounts: Towards a reframing of social accountingIan Thomson, Dec 2014, In : Accounting Forum

International advocacy NGOs, counter accounting, accountability and engagementIan Thomson, 21 Aug 2017, In : Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

Framing sustainable development challenges: accounting for SDG-15 in the UKMadlen SobkowiakThomas Cuckston & Ian Thomson, 5 Mar 2020, In : Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

A pressing need to engage with the intergovernmental panel on climate change: the role of SEA scholars in syntheses of social science climate researchRobert Charnock & Ian Thomson, 2 Sep 2019, In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal

NGO accounting and accountability: past, present and futureIan Thomson, 20 Apr 2019, In : Accounting Forum

Ecological damage, human rights and oil: local advocacy NGOs dialogic action and alternative accounting practicesIan Thomson, 2 Jan 2019, In : Accounting Forum

Teaching Case. The Case of Assabi: Expanding the Learning on Sustainability Through an Experiential Qualitative Multi-Criteria Decision Making ActivityIan Thomson, 2 Sep 2018, In : Social and Environmental Accountability Journal

EditorialIan Thomson, 29 Jul 2018, In : Public Money and Management

Review: Time machines, ethics and sustainable development: accounting for inter-generational equity in public sector organizationsIan Thomson, 29 Jul 2018, In : Public Money and Management

Ecological damage, human rights and oil: Local advocacy NGOs dialogic action and alternative accounting practicesIan Thomson, 1 Jan 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Accounting Forum

Ecological damage, human rights and oil: Local advocacy NGOs dialogic action and alternative accounting practicesIan Thomson, 1 Jan 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Accounting Forum



For any enquiries regarding this project please contact:

Professor Ian Thomson,
Centre for Responsible Business,
Birmingham Business School,
University of Birmingham


February 2022: Professor Ian Thomson: Expert Takes

Watch Ian's Expert Take on net zero, issues and oversights in current carbon accounting methods and how proper, considered carbon accounting is vital if we are to achieve net zero.