Proceedings of The 8th International Conference on Opportunities and Challenges in Management, Economics and Accounting
From Footprint to Handprint through Environmental Management Accounting: The Case of South Africa
Breggie Van Der Poll
Planet Earth is calling for mercy. Natural resources are consumed at an alarming rate, global warming is on the rise and water and air pollution are increasing. Industries that are at the forefront of depleting and polluting the environment are, therefore, called dirty industries for a reason. The purpose of this paper is to show how environmental management accounting (EMA) can assist dirty companies to become greener. A thematic analysis of the sustainability/integrated reports of 10 companies listed on the South African Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) was done with the use of Atlas.ti version 9. During the first round 50 codes were identified which were collapsed to eight code groups. The analyses informed and guided the researcher as to where these companies have an environmental footprint that can be reduced. This research argues that to reduce their environmental footprint, companies need to employ Environmental Management Accounting Practices (EMAPs). Water and energy consumption; their carbon footprint (greenhouse gases) as well as other emissions; cost of energy; and waste were identified as sustainability issues in the companies selected. EMAPs such as Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA), Activity Based Costing (ABC), and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) to name but a few could be employed as it minimises waste and costs through the identification of monetary and physical flows of material, energy and water in the complete process, thereby highlighting certain inefficiencies.
keywords: Carbon footprint; Energy consumption; Environmental Management Accounting Practices; Waste; Water consumption.