Assessing the use of environmental management accounting as a tool to calculate environmental costs and their impact on a company's environmental performance
Garbharran, Hari Lall
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The aim of this study was to investigate the use of Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) and identify environmental costs and their impact on environmental performance. Over the last two decades, EMA has emerged as an important approach by organizations wanting to improve their environmental and economic performance. However, despite the many pilot projects conducted that demonstrated the positive impact that EMA has on an organization, EMA implementation remains slow and lagging behind in South Africa. EMA is an environmental management tool that traces environmental costs directly to the processes and products that are responsible for those costs, thereby highlighting problem areas that need to prioritized when considering the adoption of cleaner production. Previous research identified that traditional costing systems did not adequately account for the actual environmental costs incurred by companies as much of these costs were hidden under overhead accounts. Hence, production costs were high, resulting in incorrect profit margins being set and ultimately impacting on company profitability. This paper is based on a case study of a paper manufacturing company in KwaZulu- Natal. The scope of this study was limited to the steam generation process and focused mainly on the efficiency of the current coal-fired boilers used in the boiler plant. The research methodology used in the study was both quantitative and qualitative involving triangulation. The results of the study show that EMA can improve environmental and economic performance of an organization by providing managers with more accurate values of their environmental costs.
Doorasamy, M. and Garbharran, H.L.. 2015. Assessing the use of environmental management accounting as a tool to calculate environmental costs and their impact on a company's environmental performance. International Journal of Management Research and Business Strategy, 4(1) pp. 35-52.
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