Muhammad Azizul Islam (Aziz) is Chair in Accountancy and Professor in Sustainability Accounting & Transparency at the University of Aberdeen Business School. Aziz was a Haskayne Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Calgary (2016) and was a distinguished visiting professor at University of Gadjah Mada (2014) and University of Indonesia (2022). Aziz is a Chartered Accountant (CAANZ).
Aziz has been involved in academia for over 20 years, in which time he has held various academic leadership and administrative roles. During his early career, he received the School’s Award for Excellence in Administration and Support and the Dean’s Award for Team Teaching Excellence (2011). He is the winner of The University of Aberdeen Principal’s Excellence Award 2022 for the Outstanding Research Project and a finalist for the Green Gown Award (2022) in association with UKRI. He was named winner of the Fair Trade and Sustainability category in the Scottish Fair Trade Awards 2022,
Aziz is one of the world’s leading sustainability accounting researchers investigating some of the specific issues, including human rights disclosures, corporate transparency on modern slavery, SDGs & social audit and corporate anti-bribery measures. Over the past 18 years, Aziz has been investigating the use of social audits and CSR disclosures concerning the lives of those working in garment factories in the global south that supply goods to big multinational companies based in North America, Europe and Australia. As an Early Career Researcher, he led a funded project on anti-bribery disclosure practices (CAANZ, 2012-2013). In early 2017, as Chief Investigator, he won a large industry grant on Social Compliance Audit Process in collaboration with CSIRO/Data61. In late 2017, in collaboration with UNSW and ANU, he won a grant from CPA Australia to investigate Regulatory Disclosures on Modern Slavery. Aziz is the recipient of two prestigious grants (UKRI/AHRC and GCRF-Scottish Funding Council) for two projects on corporate accountability in relation to modern slavery (2020-2023).
Aziz’s research appears in internationally recognised journals (ABDC A*/A, ABS 4*/3*, FT's top 50). His research collaborations are underway with international institutions and researchers based in Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, New Zealand, Nigeria, Portugal, and the USA. His research findings attract widespread media attention and influence policy changes. His research findings and opinions appear in The Guardian, BBC, Aljazeera, Sunday Post, Conversation, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Prothom Alo, The Times-Raconteur, IFAC-Gateway, ICAEW feature articles. His two parliamentary submissions (one on Modern Slavery 2017 and one on SDGs 2018) were cited by the Australian Parliament. His submission on modern slavery to the Australian Parliament (2017) contributed to the development of the key provisions of the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018. Over the past two years, Aziz presented and shared his research findings with MPs at two Parliamentary events at Westminster. During the same time, as a panellist, he presented his research findings at OECD Forums on Due Diligence in the Garment sector and tackling unfair trading practices within the sector.
In Oct 2022, Aziz joined The UK Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)’s Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) as a civil society representative. In Dec 2022, GRI, a global authoritative body for sustainability reporting standards, appointed him as an advisory member to develop labour and human rights standards.
He is actively engaged in doctoral and postdoctoral supervision.