The Centre for Social & Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR) is a research center based at the University of St Andrews, Shcool of Management (see website: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/csear/about/). The short version of the history of CSEAR is that at the end of the 1980s, several researchers in social and environmental accounting (SEA) from the UK, one of them being Professor Rob Gray, had the desire to put in place an informal network in this research area to gather other researchers working in that domain and promote it across the world. To them, CSEAR should, however, maintain the positive spirit of support and encouragement by concentrating even more on young researchers or students. Today, CSEAR has a more formalized structure and governance—it is run daily by two new co-directors and a research fellow, and is overseen by a 10-member elected Executive Council and an International Associates Committee.
One of the major activities of CSEAR is the annual Congress that is held every year at the beginning of September. Often referred as the “Summer School”, the conference deliberately consists of an informal gathering of researchers, teachers, students and practitioners concerned with social and environmental accounting, teaching and research in the widest sense. It puts an emphasis on a high level of interaction, discussion and debate in a friendly, supportive and relaxed atmosphere.