This editorial highlights the important contributions of a group of Italian authors who are published in this special issue. Also it links this work to other outcomes from the SMOG 2009 Bologna conference including the Public Management Review special issue (Ball et al, 2010) and the Economia Aziendale Online special issue (Farneti and Ricci, 2010a). The uniting theme of the SMOG conference was to demonstrate the importance and value of social and environmental accounting research in public sector organisations. This Economia Aziendale Online special issue (Farneti and Guthrie, 2010) contributes to understanding practice in Italian public and not-for profit (NFP) organisations in a variety of ways. The SMOG conference attracted a wide range of academics across the interdisciplinary subject of sustainability. Further, it was a significant event in Europe, being one of the first to focus exclusively on sustainability management and reporting in the public and NFP sectors. The following five papers bring to the English speaking academic and practice community unique insights into how Italian organisations are handling the difficult issues associated with accounting and reporting for social responsibility, environmental matters, sustainability and gender issues. In summary, this group of papers provides insights from two perspectives. First, is what we call the prevailing top-down approach, which involves European and various government policies, international and national standards and rules and directives. The second perspective, which takes a bottom-up approach, involves exploring pilot experiences within various Italian organisations, towns and regions, experiences with social reports, environmental statements and gendered budgets which are reported in this special issue.
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