Evaluating the awareness of environmental management accounting in the South African chemical industry
Environmental issues are of increasing concern to citizens, governmental personnel and corporate leaders in most countries all around the world. There is a growing consensus that conventional accounting practices simply do not provide adequate information to support decision-making in environmental management. Simply defined, environmental management accounting is management accounting with a focus on physical information on the flow of energy, water, products and materials as well as monetary information on environmental costs and revenues, and projects related to environmental protection. It is not a different method, but simply a mechanism of doing management accounting in an improved manner. When environmental management accounting is well designed and implement it should ensure better internal management and value-added decision-making. Ultimately, environmental management accounting is simply doing better comprehensive management accounting while wearing an environmental hat. This study evaluates the awareness of environmental management accounting in the chemical industry. A questionnaire was administrated to a selected group of par-ticipants. All participants in the study are employees from the chemical industry in South Africa. The selection of participants was based on their knowledge, expertise and understanding of environmental practices, challenges and problems in their respective organisations. Different functional roles from different types of chemical companies were identified to participate. The findings of this study indicated that there is a good level of awareness of environmental management accounting in the South African chemical industry. Most organisations are applying sound environmental practices and are adopting environmental strategies and different tools to improve their current status. Different levels of awareness exist between different types of chemical industries and between different functional roles in the respective organisations. Operational and capital environmental information are disclosed and organisations do generate and record information on physical and monetary environmental management accounting.