This article aims to investigate the complex interrelationship existing between reporting, accountability and governance of municipalities. More in detail, the paper attempts to identify the internal and external conditions inducing municipalities to keep environmental reports (Research Question 1) and to assess the impact of environmental reporting on the accountability of the municipalities’ governance (Research Question 2). Multiple Case Study Research is conducted by administering semi-structured interviews to bureaucrats belonging to Accounting or Environmental Department of twelve municipality partners originally involved in CLEAR-Life project. The analysis shows the link between environmental reporting, governance and accountability, fostering the identification of some important factors which may induce municipalities to elaborate environmental reporting, the impact of which should improve accountability. The work highlights possible governance settings that should stimulate scholars and practitioners to acquire a more mature awareness about the importance of adopting sustainable practices for the implementation of budgetary policies. The paper summarizes the enabling conditions to leverage governance mechanisms, which may lead political representatives to pursue an environmental accounting-oriented culture and, therefore, environmental awareness and responsibility.
Key words: Environmental reporting (ER), accountability, governance, local government (LG), municipality, multiple case study, semi-structured interview, CLEAR-Life.