Sustainable performance – Tax, audit & accounting


Sustainable performance, tax audit and accounting


The « Sustainable Performance – Tax, Audit & Accounting » strategic research field aims at promoting and stimulating transdisciplinary research on how governments, enterprises and other stakeholders should integrate sustainability in their management of taxes, audits and accounting. This research sub-unit thus gathers the Tax Institute, the Center for Research on Corporate Performance / Centre d’Etat de la Performance des Entreprises, the Entrepreneurship Department, the Accounting Department and the Smart City Institute.




Below are some of the highlights of our domain for this past academic year:



A new International Research partnership for the Smart City Institute

On September 26, the Smart City Institute has made official a 5-year research partnership with the UMRsu (Unité Mixte de Recherche en Sciences Urbaines) from the University of Laval to conduct joint research on Smart Cities’ governance and management.

To learn about the upcoming research projects between these two organisations you can visit the Smart City Institute’s website



A special issue on sustainability performance Management for Smart Cities in a journal

The Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal published a special issue on Sustainability Performance Management for Smart Cities.

Professor Nathalie Crutzen contributed as guest editor. The lack of maturity of smart city research, especially in the field of sustainability accounting, performance measurement, control or strategic management for smart city development resulted in the establishment of this Special Issue as an attempt to motivate research in this field.

The scope is quite broad welcoming conceptual and empirical submissions on performance measurement and comparison of smart cities focusing on different levels of analysis (e.g. territorial or organizational-level), different stakeholders (governments, companies, citizens) and on different smart city topics (e.g. energy, mobility).

You can find this contribution in ORBI


Greit conference 

Isabelle Richelle chaired a conference session at the GREIT Conference held in Lund on June 19 - 20, 2019.

This conference was dedicated to “Tax Sustainability in an EU and International Context” and aimed to investigate what legal tools exist to foster sustainable taxation in an EU and international context.

A first question is, of course, to define the concept of tax sustainability. Another question may be how taxation may help to reach more sustainability; some practical cases were discussed as the sugar tax or taxation as an instrument for developing countries. Sustainable taxation also implies fighting against tax fraud and avoidance; the BEPS Actions were evaluated on their mid- and long term capacity to restore more fairness in tax systems. Of course, taxation is regularly used for environmental actions, as an incentive or disincentive instrument.

Finally, the challenges of tax sustainability were scrutinized through some practical cases, amongst which the Romanian experience showing how some tax policy choices may negatively impact the efficiency of raising revenue. A book to be published will gather the contributions of the speakers.  


A first PhD on Smart Cities Management

Jonathan Desdemoustier successfully defended his thesis on June 26.

He focused his PhD research on Belgian stakeholders (at different institutional levels such as the federal, regional or municipal levels).

In exploring how actors of the territory envision the Smart City, his doctoral thesis analyses which of the many existing orientations are judged as adapted, relevant, inappropriate, and/or inapplicable for our territories (country, regions, provinces, municipalities).

Through qualitative and quantitative analyses, his thesis addresses several questions such as: How is the Smart City concept perceived by the different stakeholders? What are the different understandings of Smart Cities? How do the different actors of a territory appropriate the phenomenon? Which elements of this polymorphic concept are assimilated and supported? You can access his thesis in ORBI.

The Smart City Institute currently hosts two other PhD candidates: Hélène Bleus and Charlotte Ferrara, who will follow Jonathan’s footsteps.