Using his theory and trends in current literature, it is safe to assume that environmental auditing is the new social norm in the business community. Those that do not follow this norm will not be able to sustain a competitive advantage in the future (Javernick-Will, 2009).
Accountants and managers are familiar with auditing processes. They conduct audits to examine cash flow efficiency, operational efficiency, and the efficiency of advertising campaigns. The idea of the audit is to get a snapshot of how effectively the company uses its resources. Until recently, environmental concerns were not a part of this process. Recent evidence indicates that the environmental audit can have a measurable impact on the operational efficiency of the organization (Rennings, Ziegler, & Ankele et al., 2006). The amount of literature available on the topic indicates that it is now an important part of the accounting audit.
Environmental auditing is referred to as the environmental impact audit (EIA). In certain industries, it is mandatory and required by law. However, in companies where it is not mandatory, evidence supports the importance conducting one even if it is not necessary. For instance, the pulp and paper industry is required by law to conduct regular environmental impact studies. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations publishes specific guidelines for conducting an environmental audit (FAOUN, 1996). Although these standards are over 19 years old, they still represent the most recent and widely used guidelines for environmental auditing. They serve as an...
These guidelines are key resources in the design of environmental auditing practices.
Globalization has placed increased pressure on nations and individual organizations to make certain that their policies and processes comply with International Standards, such as ISO 14001 (Morrow & Rondnelt, 2002). A number of tools have now been developed to help companies comply with these standards. These tools focus on the use of natural resources and other environmental impacts of the business. Some of the tools are business specific and others are adaptable to different situations (Finweden & Moberg, 2005). Selecting an appropriate tool for a specific business is an element that cannot be overlooked in the development of environmental auditing processes (Hojer, M., Ahlroth, S. & Dreborg, K. et al., 2008). The development of appropriate auditing practices emerged as an important issue in the literature review.
Life Cycle Analysis and the Environmental Audit
Life cycle analysis of tangible assets is already a concept that accountants are familiar with. The life cycle of an asset has both direct and indirect affects on the environment. When something is purchased, it uses natural resources and when its usefulness has ended it generates waste. This impact must now be included in the life cycle analysis (Ekvali, T., Assela, G. & Bjorklund, A. et al., 2007). Research supports the necessity of life cycle assessment becoming an integral part of the EIA (Manuilova, Suibsiri, & Wilson, 2009). Life cycle assessments with an emphasis on specific applications within certain industries are being studied at an increasing rate. One example of these specific applications is the life cycle of coupled solar photocatalytic-biological processes in wastewater treatment (Munoz, Peral & Aylion et al., 2008). Much more literature exists that is industry specific.
Widheden & Ringstrom (2007) demonstrate how life cycle analysis can be used in product development. This is a relatively new concept in relation to environmental concerns, but life cycle analysis for product life has been a part of operational analysis for many years. The inclusion of the life cycle in relation to the EIA is recent development in this area. The use of discarded material is a key issue in life cycle analysis in the EIA (Thomas & McDougall, 2005). Trends in recent literature indicate that many new tools are being developed to assist accountants and operations managers in the conduct of life cycle analysis as a part of the EIA (Winkler & Bilitewski, 2007).
Comparative studies of different processes are an important tool for assessing the environmental impact of the life cycle of the product or process. One example of this type of comparative life cycle analysis is a study of landfilling vs. other forms of waste treatment (Banar, Cokaygil & Ozkan, 2009). This study may appear to only apply to the
The successful adaptation of life cycle costing to environmental accounting opens the door for the application of life cycle costing techniques to other emerging areas of managerial accounting. This paper will examine the usefulness of life cycle costing in the context of not only its existing uses but with respect to potential future uses as well. It is expected that this analysis will conclude that life cycle costing is
LCA of Printer Cartridges Life Cycle Analysis and Environmental Impact of Printer Cartridges Printer cartridges are an important part of the world in which we live. Every day we purchase them, use them, and eventually need to replace them. The objective of this study is to examine the life cycle environmental impacts of printer cartridges. This assessment will not examine a particular type of printer cartridge, but will consider the life cycle
Life Cycle of Organizations Anthony Downs on the life cycle of bureaus: comparison of old and new organizations and state of organizations at present In the book, "Inside Bureaucracy," author and political theorist Anthony Downs introduced, analyzed, and discussed the concept known as the "life cycle of bureaus." This concept was conceptualized to illustrate the nature and dynamics of government agencies and institutions, which displayed an altogether different culture compared to private
This equation is more equipped to take into account changes in costs and cash flows on an annual basis, and with energy prices likely to increase this will yield a better view of the situation. Assuming a 10% annual increase in the price per kWh yields the following costs of 15,000 kWh of purchased electricity: Year 0: $3,000 Year 1: $3,300 Year 2: $3,630 Year 3: $3,993 Year 4: $4,392 At a 75% savings, cash
Although the research tools provided by the ISO 14001 framework are both qualitative and quantitative, this approach is consistent with the guidance provided by Neuman (2003) who points out that, "Both qualitative and quantitative research use several specific research techniques (e.g., survey, interview, and historical analysis), yet there is much overlap between the type of data and the style of research. Most qualitative-style researchers examine qualitative data and vice
Literature Review, Analysis and Discussion 7,500 words This section presents a review of the recent relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature concerning environmental sustainability in general and how environmental sustainability initiatives can help multinational corporations of different sizes and types achieve a competitive advantage in particular. Literature Review. According to Michalisin and Stinchfield (2010), "There is widespread consensus that human activity has had a significant impact on global climatic patterns which will have