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Macsween's Environmental Accounting Experience: is it Viable - Essay Example

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Macsween's Environmental Accounting Experience: is it Viable

Often it is not possible to tabulate costs for the introduction of cleaner business practices because of opportunity costs and due to liquid costing areas. However, the renewed emphasis on cleaner business practices is leading a number of businesses to adopt multiple approaches to deal with the issue of costs. Macsween is a traditional haggis manufacturer with a family owned structure operating the business for over three generations. James Macween the owning director of the company has come up with a new method to introduce cleaner business practices in recent years. James believes that environmental accounting is essential to discovering areas where the company can save money by implementing environmentally friendly business practices. The company has embarked on a journey to make business processes and finances more transparent so that other businesses can take cue and improve their environmental practices. However, the approach taken by Macsween has yet to prove that it is actually financially viable to adopt such practices. The larger roadblocks that prevent the viability of such practices is the lack of information that is required to determine the fiscal validity of such practices. This text will focus on using methods to elucidate if Macsween’s processes are viably tuned for environmental savings. This paper will rely on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) carried out using ISO standards 14040 – 41 (ISO, 2006a) (ISO, 2006b). A general mapping of a typical LCA process is shown below for reference. 2. Goal Definition and Scope (ISO 14040) 2.1. System Boundaries The life cycle activities concerned with Haggis manicuring at the Macsween manufacturing facility will only be considered. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of business activities carried out at Macsween’s manufacturing site will be based on the following assumptions: the Macsween product lineage will be considered to be composed of a single haggis product (no flavour variation or vegetative variations will be accounted for); LCA for product will be confined to the processes carried out at Macsween only and neither at the raw material supply end nor the distribution end. In order to compare energy usage before and after implementing environmentally friendly practices a standard unit must be defined. The haggis manufactured by Macsween comes in a number of sizes depending on serving one to ten people or more (Macsween, 2012). The cost of producing haggis to serve one is going to be different from the cost of producing haggis to serve ten people so a weight based measure is more appropriate. For the purpose of this investigation, the standard unit will be taken as one tonne of haggis. This will aid to define energy required to produce one gram of haggis whether it is packaged to serve on or more people. 2.2. Required Data Quality The required data would need to reflect the usage of energy to produce haggis and the associated costs. It would be best if the data available were up to date and provided by a reliable source such as the business itself, a government service, an environmental agency or the like (Crawford, 2011). 3. Inventory Analysis (ISO 14041) Inventory analysis is essential to deciphering how much of certain materials and consumables are required to produce the standard unit defined already (Guinee, 2002). Through the course of the investigation it was found that finding the relevant data for inventory analysis was both time consuming and ...Show more


1. Introduction Business processes are only viable so as long as they are able to fulfil the basic contention behind business activity – making profit. One of the chief reasons why organisations and businesses have been slow to adopt environmental practices is because the means are often not justified by the ends…
Author : greenholtfranci
Macsweens Environmental Accounting Experience: is it Viable
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