Green accounting is a type of accounting that attempts to factor environmental costs into the financial results of operations. It has been argued that gross domestic product ignores the environment and therefore policymakers need a revised model that incorporates green accounting.The major purpose of green accounting is to help businesses understand and manage the potential quid pro quo between traditional economics goals and environmental goals. It also increases the important information available for analyzing policy issues, especially when those vital pieces of information are often overlooked.Green accounting is said to only ensure weak sustainability, which should be considered as a step toward ultimately a strong sustainability.
It is a controversial practice however, since depletion may be already factored into accounting for the extraction industries and the accounting for externalities may be arbitrary. It is obvious therefore that a standard practice would need to be established in order for it to gain both credibility and use. Depletion is not the whole of environmental accounting however, with pollution being but one factor of business that is almost never accounted for specifically. Julian Lincoln Simon, a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, argued that use of natural resources results in greater wealth, as evidenced by the falling prices over time of virtually all nonrenewable resources.