Environmental management accounting and environmental accountability within universities: current practice and future potential
Chang, HC and Deegan, C, Environmental management accounting and environmental accountability within universities: current practice and future potential, Environmental management accounting for cleaner production, Springer Science + Business Media B.V., Schaltegger Stefan, Bennett Martin, Burritt Roger L., Jasch Christine (ed), Netherlands, pp. 301-320. ISBN 978-1-4020-8912-1 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]
Copyright 2008 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
The role of management accounting in improving both environmental and financial performance through enhanced accountability is attracting increased recognition. However, universities have typically failed to be the focus of attention, generally, because of a mistaken belief that they generate only insignificant environmental impacts. A case-study of an Australian university demonstrates that there is a general lack of consideration given to the management of environmental costs and related cost-savings, due partly to a perceived lack of appreciation by senior management of the extent of environmental costs being incurred. Further, in the absence of relevant environmental cost information, although environmental sustainability itself is promoted as important, efforts to improve internal environmental accountability from an accounting perspective are lacking. In this study, interviews were conducted to identify barriers which affect the adoption of EMA. The results show that perceived institutional pressures and a low profile of accounting for the environment, and managementís attitudes influence the adoption of EMA within universities.