Accounting for extinction: how can the implementation of accounting for extinction framework help change corporate behaviour to protect biodiversity?

Grantham Scholar Mira Lieberman explores the implementation of extinction accounting in the agrochemical industry through an ecolinguistic framework.

Mira Lieberman is a Grantham Scholar and a PhD researcher at the Sheffield University Management School. Mira received an MA in Sociocultural Linguistics from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She is a co-convenor for the International Ecolinguistics Association and is currently on the editorial board of a new ecolinguistics book series with Bloomsbury.

The project

Her interdisciplinary research, supervised by Prof. Jill Atkins and Dr. Robert McKay, addresses mass extinction. The project explores the implementation of the extinction accounting framework in the agrochemical industry. Following the debate on neonicotinoid insecticides’ effect on pollinators, the project extends the concern to other species that may be adversely affected.

The European hedgehog has declined in the last decade by nearly two thirds, with British hedgehogs found to be increasingly absent from arable land due to the intensification of agricultural practices. Loss of hedges and copses coupled with an increased use of biocides reduce prey availability. Hedgehogs are insectivores, feeding on earthworms, beetles, slugs and other invertebrates making them a bio indicator species of soil health and a natural pest control species.

The potential broader impact of biocides on biodiversity beyond pollinators may be a material issue for companies in the crop protection industry. The project analyses integrated reports of multinational agrochemical companies through an ecolinguistic framework. Ecolinguistics explores the role language has in shaping humans’ relationship with the natural world and how the communication practices of companies can contribute to creating a better future. The discourse used to address key ecological crises may shape the way in which we view the solutions, not only to our own survival but to all living beings on Earth.

Outreach and impact

A picture of a hedgehog which Mira Lieberman looked after for her interview on ecosophy extinction accounting
Read our interview with Mira to learn all about extinction accounting.

We interviewed Mira to learn more about hedgehogs, agrochemical companies and extinction accounting. In the interview she explains why philosophy has a vital role in sustainability. Plus Mira shows how linguistics can reveal hidden parts of people’s beliefs. Read: Hedgehogs, ecosophy & extinction accounting – Mira Lieberman interview.

You can keep up with Mira by reading her blog, which focuses on ecolinguistics. Read: Sociolinguini.

And Mira has also written one of the most popular blogs to appear on our website: Why Activism Is Our Moral Duty. In this blog, Mira outlines a case for the importance of activism, especially animal rights activism, in and beyond academia.